Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes fell one point to 46 on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
Holding above the mid-point of 50 for a third consecutive month, the HMI component gauging current sales conditions fell by a single point to 51 in February. Meanwhile, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months rose by one point, to 50, and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers slipped four points, to 32.
Three-month moving averages for each region's HMI score were mixed in February, with the Northeast up three points to 39 and the West up four points to 55 and the Midwest and South each down two points, to 48 and 47, respectively.
‘Following solid gains over the past year, builder confidence has essentially leveled out and held in the same three-point range over the last four months,’ says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. ‘This is partly due to ongoing uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to mortgage credit, but it's also a reflection of the fact that builders are now confronting rising costs for building materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor and lots as demand for new homes strengthens.’