Despite improvement in future expectations in the housing construction industry during the course of 2012, builder confidence edged lower for the first time in seven months in April.
According to a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders, builders confidence slid 3 points to an index of 25 out of 100. Confidence is now at the same level recorded at the beginning of 2012, which was the highest mark the index had achieved since 2007.
"Although builders in many markets are noting increased interest among potential buyers, consumers are still very hesitant to go forward with a purchase, and our members are realigning their expectations somewhat until they see more actual signed sales contracts," said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg.
Regionally, the Northeast was the only area to see an increase in builder confidence, while sentiment in the market in the West remained unchanged. In contrast, the Midwest and South both recorded significant declines.
Meanwhile, a recent forecast from Fitch Ratings anticipates the new-home construction rate to rise by as much as 10 percent by the end of 2012 with an 8 percent increase in the sales rate of these units.