WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, constrained by tight credit for home buyers and a shortage of workers and available land.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which measures confidence in the single-family home market, edged up to 47 in April from 46 in March, the homebuilders group reported Tuesday.
Readings below 50 mean builders view sales conditions as poor. The index had been above 50 from June through January.
Builders recently have complained that they can't find enough workers or lots to build on.
Many home buyers also have had trouble qualifying for mortgages. The homebuilders' index of traffic by prospective buyers stayed at 32 in April.
The latest reading, based on responses from 301 builders, comes as the spring home-selling season gets going. The season typically sets the pattern for residential hiring and building construction in the ensuing months. The overall confidence index was below 50 in all four regions of the United States — 36 in the Northeast, 45 in the West and 48 in the Midwest and South.