A dimmed outlook for future sales weighed on builder optimism during the month.
Optimism for Future Sales Falters
- Despite consensus expectations for a slight gain, home builder sentiment held steady at a reading of 58 in March.
- The only decline was seen in the future sales index, which dropped 3 points to a level of 61. Notably, this component has fallen 14 points from its cycle-high of 75 reached in Oct. 2015. The 4 point gain in prospective buyer traffic offset the decline in future sales, while the present sales index was unchanged.
Builder Confidence Moderates
- The South and the Northeast regional indices posted a modest pickup in March, increasing to a level of 59 and 46, respectively. Builder confidence in the Midwest and the West remained unchanged, however.
- While builder sentiment has moderated recently, the index remains well above the 50 demarcation line, signaling steady gains in the single-family housing market in 2016.
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