Following months of steady gains, U.S. home builder confidence falls

April 16, 2012 02:15PM

The National Association of Home Builders’ National Market Index slipped for the first time in seven months, according to April numbers released today, indicating that builder confidence in new construction single-family homes nationwide has receded to January 2012 levels. In April, the housing market index fell 3 points to 25, from 28, after two months of gains.

The index measures buyers’ expectations for the market in the next six months.

“What we’re seeing is essentially a pause in what had been a fairly rapid build-up in builder confidence that started last September,” NAHB chief economist David Crowe said in a statement. “This is partly because interest expressed by buyers in the past few months has yet to translate into expected sales activity, but is also reflective of the ongoing challenges that are slowing the housing recovery — particularly tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, competition from foreclosures and problems with obtaining accurate appraisals.”

Regionally, the housing market index gained 4 points to 29 in the Northeast (reaching the highest level since May 2010), was unchanged at 32 in the West, declined 3 points to 24 in the South, and 8 points to 23 in the Midwest. — Guelda Voien