The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose
to 47 in March from 46 in February, the group said in a
statement. February's decline was the largest ever
month-to-month, and economists polled by Reuters had predicted
the index would rebound to 50 in March.
Readings below 50 mean more builders view market conditions as
poor than favorable. The index had been above 50 for eight
straight months before February's slump.
"A number of factors are raising builder concerns over meeting
demand for the spring buying season," said NAHB Chief Economist
David Crowe in a statement.
"These include a shortage of buildable lots and skilled workers,
rising materials prices and an extremely low inventory of new
homes for sale."
The single-family home sales component rose to 52 from 51. The
gauge of single-family sales expectations for the next six
months dipped to 53, the lowest since May, from 54. Prospective
buyer traffic rose to 33 from 31.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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