US homebuilder confidence, sales expectations slip in December; outlook remains positive

Industrials Associated Press

U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects heading into next year, even as their overall sales outlook remains favorable.

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The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped this month to 57, down one point from 58 in November.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

Builders' view of current sales conditions and their outlook for sales over the next six months also declined slightly. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers held steady.

The latest reading is consistent with the NAHB's forecast for the U.S. housing market to recover at a steady, gradual pace next year.

New home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 homes in October, the highest point since May.