Home-builder Confidence Declines Two Points To 54 In May

MarketWatch Pulse

A gauge of confidence among home builders declined two points to 54 in May, led down by views on current sales of single-family homes, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data released Monday. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a May result of 58. However, builders remained upbeat -- readings above 50 signal that home-construction companies, generally, are optimistic about sales trends. May marks the 11th consecutive month of above-50 readings. "Mortgage rates remain low, and house prices are affordable. These factors should spur the release of pent-up demand moving forward," said David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist. Also Monday, NAHB reported that its barometer of builders' views on present sales of single-family homes declined two points to 59 in May, while a barometer of builders' views on upcoming sales rose one point to 64, and a gauge of prospective-buyer traffic ticked down one point to 39.

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