WASHINGTON — Builder confidence for newly built, single-family homes remained unchanged at 16 for a third consecutive month in January, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).


"The HMI and its subcomponent indexes are holding steady following a below-expectations finish in 2010," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in a statement. "At this point, housing remains on the sidelines of a weak economic recovery as consumers and builders wait for clear and consistent indications that jobs and economic output are reviving. Meanwhile, the problems that builders continue to confront in obtaining production financing, and in maintaining performing lines of credit, threaten to significantly slow the onset of a housing recovery."


While the HMI components gauging current sales conditions and sales expectations for the next six months both held steady from the previous month, at 16 and 25, respectively, the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers edged up a single point to 12 in January.
HMI scores rose by one point in the Midwest and four points in the West in January, to 14 and 15, respectively. Meanwhile, HMI scores fell two points in the Northeast and one point in the South, to 20 and 17, respectively.

Posted by Karen Koenig

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