Builder confidence doesn’t budge in January

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes stayed at the same level in January as the two previous months, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo House Market Index (HMI).

The seasonally adjusted index, which remains flat at 16, is based on a survey of 420 builders across the country. Numbers above 50 generally indicate that builders are optimistic about market conditions.  

"Unfortunately, a severe lack of construction financing, and widespread difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisal values, continue to limit builders' ability to prepare for anticipated improvements in buyer demand in 2011," said 2011 NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev.

HMI scores rose by one point in the Midwest and four points in the West in January, to 14 and 15, respectively. Meanwhile, HMI scores fell two points in the Northeast and one point in the South, to 20 and 17, respectively.