U.S. builders’ confidence index reached a 20-year high on Aug. 18 EST as mortgage rates hit a record low. According to the National Association of home builders / Wells Fargo housing market index (HMI), the confidence index of builders in the newly built single family housing market jumped 6 points to 78 in August, up 6 percentage points from July to the highest level since 1998. The data is in line with the median analyst forecast for 35 years in August. < / P > < p > the survey aims to grasp the future trend of the single family housing market. The respondents need to assess the current and future sales market situation of new houses, as well as the flow of potential new house buyers. If the housing market index is significantly higher than 50, it is regarded as a positive sentiment. The index reached a 20-year high in 2019, but plummeted after the outbreak brought the US economy to a standstill in March. Since then, builders’ businesses have rebounded, and the real estate market has unexpectedly become a bright spot in an economy hit by the epidemic. < / P > < p > in the three trends of the index, the current sales situation rose by 6 points to 84 points. Sales in the next six months are expected to rise by 3 percentage points to 78, and the flow of buyers will rise by 8 percentage points to 65, the highest level in the history of the survey. This shows that respondents are generally optimistic about the future construction of the single family housing market. < / P > < p > demand for new homes is boosting builders’ confidence at a time of low inventory of existing homes. As consumers suddenly seek more space in smaller urban areas, the construction business has been boosted. Both renters and buyers are looking for more affordable, less dense markets. ” Chuck Fowke, President of the National Association of home builders, said: “demand for new single family homes continues to be strong, with low interest rates and concerns about the importance of housing, which have pushed home sales to record highs at HMI.” < p > < p > although mortgage rates are at historic lows, the boom in the construction industry has not been a green light. Rising wood prices, labor shortages, and traffic congestion and tariffs will pose challenges to the future single family housing market. < / P > < p > timber prices have more than doubled since mid April. The U.S. timber supply has been sharply reduced by factors such as reduced U.S. factory production and staff, the resurgence of the epidemic in the southeastern United States, and Canadian wood tariffs, according to random length, a news agency that tracks prices in the timber industry in Eugene, Oregon Timber prices in North America have more than doubled since early April, according to a composite index compiled by publications. The index, which peaked at $428 in early March, bottomed at $348 on April 10 and closed at $743 this week, up $68 in just one week. As a result, factories in the United States were shut down on a large scale, and workers were also fired or forced to take leave, resulting in a sharp decrease in the number of employees. And another major reason is that the federal government provided workers with an additional $600 in unemployment benefits in July, which also hindered workers from returning to work. After August, workers also have some fear of returning to the factory, so even though unemployment benefits have ended this month, some workers are choosing home isolation. < / P > < p > finally, during the trade war with Canada and Mexico, the U.S. government has doubled the tariff on timber imported from Canada to more than 20%. Under the new U.S. – Canada – Mexico agreement, tariffs may return to 8%, but the effect of tariff reduction will appear later this year. < / P > < p > despite the problems, the good news is that builders seem to have begun to adapt to these challenges, and the pace of new home completion is also on the rise. If the NAHB index, which measures the confidence of builders, can be used as a reference, the construction industry may continue to rebound in the coming months.