US builder confidence dips amid fears over rising interest rates

(Credit: Maurice Mayfield)
(Credit: Maurice Mayfield)

From the New York website: U.S. builder confidence in newly-built single-family homes dropped in January, following the 11-year high it reached last month.

The National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index fell to 67 in January, down from 69 in December, the Wall Street Journal reported. A number above 50 suggests more builders consider conditions to be good than poor, according to the paper. Last month’s figure was the highest monthly reading since 2005, however it may have partially been the result of a “post-election bump.”

“Builders began the year optimistic that a new Congress and administration will help create a better business climate for small businesses, particularly as it relates to streamlining and reforming the regulatory process,” Granger MacDonald, the chairman of the association, told the Journal.

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However, the trade group said builders are concerned about rising interest rates, falling demand, the dwindling number of vacant lots and labor shortages.

In November, sales of new homes across country jumped 5.2 percent month-over-month, as buyers rushed to sign contracts in an atmosphere of rising interest rates. [WSJ]Miriam Hall