With their subprime customers getting frozen out of financing, can you blame homebuilders for getting a little more worried? The National Association of Home Builders reported today that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell 3 points this month, to 36. That’s still above its bottom of 30 last September, but it represents a reversal of the recent trend toward greater optimism.
The index covers current sales, expectations of sales over the next six months, and the amount of traffic from prospective buyers.
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.