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Financial News: U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Improves Modestly In April

U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Improves Modestly In April

04/15/2021 - 11:42:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Reflecting strong buyer demand, the National Association of Home Builders released a report on Thursday showing a modest increase in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of April.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index inched up to 83 in April after dipping to 82 in March, matching economist estimates.

The NAHB noted the uptick in homebuilder confidence came even as builders continued to grapple with rising lumber prices and supply chain issues and consumers faced higher home prices due to a lack inventory.

"The supply chain for residential construction is tight, particularly regarding the cost and availability of lumber, appliances, and other building materials," said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke.

He added, "Though builders are seeking to keep home prices affordable in a market in need of more inventory, policymakers must find ways to increase the supply of building materials as the economy runs hot in 2021."

The modest increase by the housing market index came as the gauge charting traffic of prospective buyers climbed to 75 in April from 72 in March.

The index gauging current sales conditions also crept up to 88 in April from 87 in March, while the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months fell to 81 from 83.

On Friday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of March.

Economists currently expect housing starts to soar by 13.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.613 million in March after plunging by 10.3 percent to a rate of 1.421 million in February.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, are also expected to jump by 4.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.750 million in March after plummeting by 10.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.682 million in February.

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