Certainly among builders in the market for new single-family homes stayed the same in February, the National Association of Home Builders reported.
The NAHB-Wells Fargo Housing
Market Index for the month stood at 16 - the fourth straight month the index
It’s a sign that many
builders believe the U.S. housing market has a long way to go until a real
recovery is under way, said David Crowe, the association’s chief economist.
"Builders are telling
us that some pockets of optimism have begun to emerge, but many prospective
purchasers are concerned about selling their existing home in the current
market, or face difficulty securing credit for a home purchase - even when they
are well-qualified," Crowe said. "Adding these concerns to the severe
difficulty that builders continue to confront in obtaining acquisition,
development and construction financing, you can understand why builder
sentiment has not improved over the past four months."
The index is created from a
monthly survey the NAHB has done among members for 20 years. A number above 50
indicates most builders view market conditions as positive.
Many builders continue to
struggle, said association Chairman Bob Nielsen, a builder from Reno, Nev.
"While builders are
starting to see more interest among potential home buyers, we are also dealing
with a multitude of challenges, including competition from foreclosure
properties and inaccurate appraisals of new homes, which are limiting our
ability to sell," Nielsen said. "On top of that, an extremely tight
lending environment continues to make it almost impossible to obtain credit for
viable new and existing projects, and most do not see that situation improving