May 18 (UPI) -- Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. housing market has rebounded somewhat following a record one-month plunge in April, according to an industry survey released Monday.
Last month the index nosedived from 72 to 30 -- the steepest decline ever seen in a single month during the survey's 30-year history. The plunge was triggered by widespread economic disruptions caused by stay-at-home orders and worker furloughs issued to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
Anything above 50 is counted as positive sentiment, so despite the bounce off the bottom in May homebuilders remained broadly negative about the housing market.
NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz attributed the better showing to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in many states, which is expected to lead to increased demand for new homes.
He also pointed to gains in mortgage application data and improved buyer traffic.
"However," Deitz warned, "high unemployment and supply-side challenges including builder loan access and building material availability are near-term limiting factors."