Unusually bad winter weather across much of the country was at least partly to blame for a four-point decline in the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index for February, released today. The monthly gauge of single-family builder confidence rested at 65, its lowest level since July 2003's similar reading. Each of the HMI's component indexes declined in February. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers slipped the most – down 5 points to 46 – followed by the index gauging current sales of new single-family homes, which was down 4 points to 72. The index gauging expected sales in the next six months slid three points to 73. "The new-homes market is still doing well, thanks to excellent financing conditions, great buyer demographics and improving economic indicators. But many builders reported drop-offs in buyers visiting model homes in early February, and a large percentage attributed those declines to bad weather," said NAHB President Bobby Ra...
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