Builder confidence ticked down slightly in February, according to a survey, essentially leveling out at a level slightly below "good."
Builder confidence in how the market for newly constructed single-family homes will fare remained pretty much the same as last month, declining a point to 46, according to the National Assn. of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
"This is partly due to ongoing uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to mortgage credit," Rick Judson, a home builder and NAHB chairman, said in a statement. "But it's also a reflection of the fact that builders are now confronting rising costs for building materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor and lots as demand for new homes strengthens."
The index is derived from a monthly survey that asks builders to rate their expectations for sales for the next six months as "good," "fair" or "poor."
The survey also asks builders to rate the volume of visits by prospective buyers.
All of these responses are scored to create an index. Any reading above 50 on that index means that more builders surveyed viewed their prospects as "good" than not.