Housing market index: activity at or near bottom

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There’s hope on the horizon for the home building industry.

National Association of Home Builders April Housing Market Index data, released April 24, suggests that the new home market may be at or near the bottom.

The HMI, which measures builder confidence in the single-family housing market, jumped five points in April, the largest one-month increase in five years. The HMI now stands at 14, the highest level since October 2008.

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said the latest trend report offers reason for optimism, based primarily on today’s housing affordability and pent-up demand. The only factor hurting a full recovery, however, is a lack of credit.

Joe Robson, the organization’s chairman, repeated a call for consumers to buy new. “Some of the most favorable buying conditions in a lifetime are now in place, and they’re drawing more consumers back to the market,” he said.

Robson isn’t the only builder who’s cautiously beginning to talk about brighter days ahead. In Colorado Springs, Lorson Ranch developer Leroy Landhuis said lot sales to builders are beginning to pick up.

“We’ve almost sold out our first filing and have 50 contracts pending. Based on what I’m seeing, we could sell close to 300 lots this year,” he said.