Higher costs for land and labor are casting an even bigger chill over homebuilders than the brutal February weather plaguing much of the nation.
A monthly measure of builder sentiment fell three points from an upwardly revised January reading. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) now stands at 58. The expectation had been for sentiment to remain flat at 60. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment. The index stood at 55 in February of 2015.
"Though builders report the dip in confidence this month is partly attributable to the high cost and lack of availability of lots and labor, they are still positive about the housing market," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a homebuilder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois, in a release. "Of note, they expressed optimism that sales will pick up in the coming months."