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Builder Confidence Edges Down in First 2015 Index

clippedA decline in future home sales expectations weighed down on homebuilder confidence in January, though hopes still remain high overall.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index dropped to 57 in January, NAHB reported Tuesday morning. December's index was revised upward to 58, reflecting no change from the month before.

January marked the seventh straight month in which the index came in at a reading at or above 50, the benchmark between a market largely viewed as good and one viewed as bad. Signs of strengthening in the economy and an improving job picture helped buoy readings throughout 2014's latter half.

"Steady economic growth, rising consumer confidence and a growing labor market will help the housing market continue to move forward in 2015," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

Each of the index's three components were flat to down in January, with the measure of current home sales hovering at 62, future sales expectations dropping to 60, and traffic from prospective homebuyers falling to 44.

Looking at the group's regional indices, attitudes improved only the Midwest, pushing up to a reading of 60. The individual gauges for the Northeast, South, and West were all down, though only the Northeast is below the 50 line at a reading of 43.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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