Builder confidence in the new-home market was essentially flat in February 2013. It declined a point to stand at 46 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a homebuilder from Charlotte, NC, said builder confidence made solid gains in the past year and has essentially leveled out, to hold within a three-point window in the last four months.
"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," said Judson.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe noted the pause in HMI growth and said it indicates that builders are adjusting their expectations to reflect the pace of consumers new-home buying.
"The index remains near its highest level since May of 2006, and we expect home building to continue on a modest rising trajectory this year," said Crowe.
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