US homebuilder confidence sags in February

National Association of Home Builders index falls to lowest level since May 2015

Single-family housing construction
Single-family housing construction

U.S. homebuilders aren’t too bullish on the current state of the housing market, with an index gauging single-family homebuilder confidence falling to its lowest level since last May.

The National Association of Home Builders index fell 3 points to a seasonally adjusted level of 58 in February – a sign that housing market growth could be moderating.

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While an index score over 50 means most builders see conditions as generally positive, homebuilders across the country were less confident about present-day home sales and buyer traffic, according to the Wall Street Journal. Confidence in single-family home sales over the next six months, however, notched up a point.

“This report does not change our core view that housing will strengthen markedly this year,” economist Ian Shepherdson told the Journal. “But we need to be cautious about the immediate outlook.”

The NAHB index was at 61 points in January, up one point from a score of 60 in December. The index has been at 60 or above since last June and has been in positive territory – above 50 points – since mid-2014. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi