LOS ANGELES (AP) — Confidence among U.S. home builders remained unchanged this month from December at the highest level in nearly seven years, but builders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their prospects for sales over the next six months.
A report on an index that tracks home builder sentiment out Wednesday showed sentiment holding steady last month. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index was unchanged at 47, the highest reading since it hit 51 in April 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.
Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. Still, the index has been slowly trending higher since October 2011, when it was 17.
A measure of traffic by prospective customers increased, while a gauge of current sales conditions remained unchanged from December’s reading. An outlook of sales in the next six months declined.
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