More weather give back

In a sign of some weather give back, the NAHB home builder sentiment index fell 3 pts to 25 vs an expected unchanged reading of 28. To see what’s happened this winter, the figure went from 19 in Nov to 21 in Dec, 25 in Jan and 28 in Feb. Both Present Conditions and the Future outlook fell 3 pts and the Prospective Buyers Traffic was down by 4 pts. The NAHB chief economist said “What we’re seeing is essentially a pause in what had been a fairly rapid build up in builder confidence that started last September. This is partly because interest expressed by buyers in the past few months has yet to translate into expected sales activity, but is also reflective of the ongoing challenges that are slowing the housing recovery – particularly tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, competition from foreclosures and problems with obtaining accurate appraisals.” Bottom line, the factors inhibiting a robust recovery in housing are all well known but we’re definitely beginning to see the extent at which not getting snowed in can help economic activity and one’s mood.

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