Builder Confidence Plummets Amid Severe Weather

Builder Confidence Plummets Amid Severe Weather

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By Francys Vallecillo | February 18, 2014 4:02 PM ET

Builder confidence for new single-family homes in the U.S. plunged in February, due to a combination of severe weather conditions and continued concerns surrounding labor and lots. 

The housing market index fell 10 points to 46 in February, after dropping in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders. 

"Significant weather conditions across most of the country led to a decline in buyer traffic last month," NAHB chairman Kevin Kelly, said int he report. "Builders also have additional concerns about meeting ongoing and future demand due to a shortage of lots and labor."

The index is now below the 50 mark, which indicates contraction for the housing market. Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported housing starts dropped by the largest margin in six months in December.

"Clearly, constraints on the supply chain for building materials, developed lots and skilled workers are making builders worry," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "The weather also hurt retail and auto sales and this had a contributing effect on demand for new homes."

The index component measuring current sales condition dropped 11 points to 51; sales expectations declined six points to 51, while the component measuring buyer traffic dropped nine points to 31. 

The Midwest, South and Northeast regions all posted declines in the three-month averages. The West was the only region that remained unchanged.

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