Weak prices, rising costs scare home builders

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Slumping prices of existing houses and rising material costs pushed the confidence of builders constructing new single-family homes nationwide down to its lowest level since September 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In a report released today, the organization found that the confidence level was 13, where any number greater than 50 indicates more builders view conditions positively. The report also measured 2-point drops in its gauge of current sales conditions (13) and traffic of prospective buyers (12). The numbers are derived from a survey that asks builders to rate the single-family home sales market, and their expectations over the next six months. The northeast was the only region to post gains in its confidence score, as it rose 2 points to 17. TRD