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U.S. home builders are cautious about the housing market in March. Builder confidence for single-family homes rose only 1 point in March to a seasonal adjustment of 47. Anything below 50 indicates that builders view conditions as more poor than good.
The one point increase comes after a ten point fall in February. The biggest one month decline on record. The reason for the decline is the weather, cost of materials, a lack of skilled labor, and lack of land.
A warm spring could increase builder confidence. The unseasonble cold has been pushing back construction projects. In addition, less buyers are looking in the cold. Evidence of this shows from the higher builder confidence in the west, where it is much warmer than the rest of the nation.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, "A number of factors are raising builder concerns over meeting demand for the spring buying season. These include a shortage of buildable lots and skilled workers, rising materials prices, and an extremely low inventory of new homes for sale."