The National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index measures how optimistic builders are about the new home market. Scored on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor, the survey has been conducted for 30 years and is a good indicator of where the current new home market is and where it may be headed. In August, the index fell one point but remains high at 67. Randy Noel, NAHB’s chairman, says there are some challenges but overall builders are seeing strong demand for new homes. “The good news is that builders continue to report strong demand for new housing, fueled by steady job and income growth along with rising household formations,” Noel said. “However, they are increasingly focused on growing affordability concerns, stemming from rising construction costs, shortages of skilled labor, and dearth of buildable lots.” Three-month moving averages show the South and West have the highest level of builder confidence with each scoring in the 70s. The Northeast and Midwest score lower, but that may be due to the fact that there are more existing homes available in those regions, leading to less demand for new homes. More here.