Growing pessimism among builders. Today the National Association of Home Builders announced that in May its index of builders’ perceptions of sales conditions dropped to its lowest since mid-1995.
To quote the press release:
Rising mortgage rates, deepening affordability issues and the retreat of investors/speculators from the marketplace …
NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders calls it an "orderly cooling-down process."
Here's the history of the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index since the start of last year:
2005 Jan 70
2006 Jan 57
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.