According to the National Association of Home Builders, as the industry observes National Homeownership Month in June, recent U.S. housing data indicate the important role the residential construction industry will play in leading the U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) revealed that the housing market is showing signs of stabilizing and gradually moving forward in the wake of the pandemic, as builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased seven points to 37 in May 2020. The rise in builder sentiment follows the largest single monthly decline in the history of the index in April. Even with the recent decline, single-family starts remain 1 percent higher for the first four months of the year compared to the first four months of 2019.
"NAHB anticipates that housing will help lead the economy out of this period of uncertainty and is likely to rebound faster than other sectors," said Dean Mon, chairman of NAHB. "Pent-up demand for housing and low-interest rates can pave the way for a potential industry bounce back as we head into the summer months."
To underscore the home building industry's commitment to building homes, creating jobs and boosting manufacturing during this critical time, NAHB released a new public service announcement available on nahb.org. As stay-at-home orders continue to be lifted across the country, the industry is shifting its business environment to ensure all safety precautions are exercised throughout the home building and buying process, such as offering virtual model home tours and online closings.
"Homeownership remains the cornerstone of the American Dream. As our living spaces this year turned into offices, schools and playgrounds, a place to call home is important now more than ever," said Mon.
The total number of loans now in forbearance increased from 8.36% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.46% as of May 24, 2020. According to MBA's estimate, just over 4.2 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans.
California home sales dropped sharply in April 2020 from both the previous month and year as the housing market began to feel the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the state's stay-at-home order.
After suffering the greatest performance declines in the history of the U.S. lodging industry during 2020, the nation's hotels will benefit from what is expected to be a relatively rapid economic turnaround in 2021 and 2022.