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New housing data highlights hesitant buyers

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 7:53:53 AM

There are plenty of positives in the housing market today, from low residential financing rates to growing inventory and fewer investors. However, many would-be buyers are sitting on the sidelines at the moment, in part due to a lack of confidence.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, housing starts were down 17 percent from January to February. The new seasonally adjusted annual rate was only 897,000 units, or 3 percent below the February 2014 rate. In addition, completed homes fell on both a monthly and yearly basis this past February.

National Association of Home Builders chairman Tom Woods pointed out that his organization wasn't surprised by the numbers, as builders across the country are cautiously optimistic about the future. These professionals are waiting for consumers to enter the market and for the economy to improve before starting any new construction.

"February's numbers indicate that wavering consumer confidence continues to impact the housing recovery," added NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "Buyers are waiting for a stronger, more reliable economy before making a home purchase, and builders are responding to their reluctance."

If all goes well, the next few months will see an improved economy and more consumer confidence in the housing market.