U.S. homebuilder confidence rose in March, but lingering concerns kept overall sentiment poor, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose to 47 in the month of March, up from 46 in the month prior. The decline in February was the largest ever month-to-month drop. This month, economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would bounce back to a reading of 50 in March.
Readings of the index below 50 suggest more builders view market conditions as poor than favorable. The index had been above 50 for eight straight months prior to the February drop off.
“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.”
Last month, the NAHB blamed unusually cold weather conditions for the record-breaking drop, though during the Reagan recovery temperatures were roughly equitable.
The single-family home sales component increased to 52, up from 51 in February. The gauge of single-family sales expectations for the next six months dropped to 53, which is the lowest measurement since May, down from 54. Prospective buyer traffic actually rose to 33, up from 31.