The Jan Nat’l Assoc of Home Builders sentiment index fell to 15 from 16, was 2 pts below expectations and is back to the lowest level since June. Present conditions fell 1 pt to 15 but the Future outlook was flat at 26. Prospective Buyers Traffic fell 1 pt to 12 and was down in all four regions of the country. The NAHB Chairman summed up the two major issues dampening the outlook by saying, “consumer concerns about job security and competition from foreclosed homes on the market are still impeding demand for new homes at this time.” “Home buying conditions have rarely been as good as they are right now, but consumers are still waiting to see significant positive signs of improvement in employment and confidence, and this is slowing buyers’ return to the market” said the NAHB chief economist.” Come spring will be the next real test for the industry as the Fed’s MBS purchases end as does the home buying tax credit.
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