Tuesday, 20 July 2010

US home-builder confidence and eurozone construction output fall

Home-builder confidence in the US fell again in June. Bloomberg reports:

Builders in the U.S. turned more pessimistic in June than expected, signaling housing demand may be slowing even more than anticipated after a government tax credit expired.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index dropped to 17 from 22 in May, lower than all estimates of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the biggest decrease since November 2008, data from the Washington- based group showed today. Readings lower than 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.

Recovery in the eurozone construction sector also seems to be stalling. From Businessweek:

European construction output dropped for a second month in May, led by declines in Germany.

Construction in the 16-nation euro region fell 1 percent from April, when it decreased 0.3 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. From a year earlier, output in May dropped 6.3 percent after falling 5.7 percent in April.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that UK real-estate agents are losing confidence in the strength of house prices.

Britain’s housing-market recovery has shown signs of slowing this year as the RICS balance dropped from a three-year high in November to its lowest in 11 months in June. That signals values are set to fall later this year, said KBC Peel Hunt housing analyst Robin Hardy. Home sellers cut prices for the first time this year in July, Rightmove said yesterday.

House prices, however, are probably already too high in China. From AFP/CNA:

A typical Beijing flat costs about 22 times average incomes in the city, state media said Monday, highlighting the challenge China faces providing affordable housing amid a property boom.

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