Home builder confidence holds steady in February

Home builder confidence holds steady in February
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Home builder confidence was unchanged in February as expectations for future sales hit a post-recession high.

Sentiment for new single-family homes held at a healthy 72 level, with consumer demand forecast to grow in the next six months, according to a new housing index released on Thursday by hte National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

"With ongoing job creation, increasing owner-occupied household formation and a tight supply of existing home inventory, the single-family housing sector should continue to strengthen at a gradual but consistent pace,” said Robert Dietz, NAHB's chief economist.

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The index component charting sales expectations for the next six months rose 2 points, to 80, the index measuring buyer traffic held steady at 54, and the component gauging current sales conditions dropped 1 point, to 78.

Any number more than 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

"Builders are excited about the pro-business political climate that will strengthen the housing market and support overall economic growth," said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La.

"However, they need to manage supply-side construction hurdles, such as shortages of labor and lots and building material price increases," Noel said. 

Regionally, the Midwest index rose 2 points, to 72, the South saw a 1-point rise, to 74, the West remained unchanged at 81, and Northeast fell 2 points, to 56.