U.S. homebuilders lost a little faith in their market in July, as foot traffic of potential buyers thinned and construction constraints continued.
A monthly reading of builder confidence from the National Association of Home Builders dropped a point to 59. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment, but the index has been stuck in a very narrow range since January and is down 1 point from last July.
"We are still hearing reports from our members of scattered softness in some markets, due largely to regulatory constraints and shortages of lots and labor," said association Chairman Ed Brady, a homebuilder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois.
Builders have been facing increasing regulatory constraints, especially in some of the tighter housing markets, like San Francisco, Seattle and Denver. That keeps them from being able to develop as much land and build as many homes as they might like.