Building confidence increases in March

Confidence among builders rose in March.

Builder confidence increased slightly in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The index for March had a reading of 47, up 1 percent from January.

The index is comprised of three components, which had mixed activity for the month. Current sales conditions increased by one point to 52, sales expectations over the next six months dropped one point to 53 and buyer traffic rose by 2 points to stand at 33. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said there were a few reasons why the housing industry did not have better success in March.

"A number of factors are raising builder concerns over meeting demand for the spring buying season," Crowe said. "These include a shortage of buildable lots and skilled workers, rising materials prices and an extremely low inventory of new homes for sale."

The indices for the four major regions across the country also declined in March. The West fell by two points to stand at 61, the South dropped by four points to 49, the Northeast declined by three points to 35 and the Midwest had a three point decline to 53.

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