Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. saw a modest decrease in the month of March, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders on Thursday.
The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index edged down to 70 in March from a revised 71 in February. Economists had expected the index to dip to 71 from the 72 originally reported for the previous month.
“Builders’ optimism continues to be fueled by growing consumer demand for housing and confidence in the market,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel.
He added, “However, builders are reporting challenges in finding buildable lots, which could limit their ability to meet this demand.”
The NAHB said the index gauging buyer traffic fell to 51 in March from 54 in February, while the index measuring sales expectations in the next six months dropped to 78 from 80.
Meanwhile, the report said the component gauging current sales conditions held at 77 in March, unchanged from the previous month.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of February on Friday.
Housing starts are expected to climb by 6.0 percent in February after jumping by 9.7 percent in January, while building permits are expected to slump by 12.3 percent after rising by 5.9 percent.