Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes receded in March, largely on concerns about deepening problems in the subprime mortgage arena, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Based on a monthly survey that measures builder perceptions and expectations for home sales, the index dropped to 36 in March from a downwardly revised reading of 39 in February. An index rating above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good, while a rating below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor. "Builders are uncertain about the consequences of tightening mortgage lending standards for their home sales down the line, and some are already seeing effects of the subprime shakeout on current sal...
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