US homebuilders lose confidence

Homebuilders in America have lost confidence this month, the National Association of Home Builders announced.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index performed worse than expected in March, dropping three points to 25 despite predictions that it would stay firm at 28. But the index has climbed steadily since September last year, according to MSN , gradually getting closer to the crucial 50 mark, which indicates builders rank market conditions as "favourable" as opposed to "poor".

The index has not climbed above 50 in the last six years.

 The current dip is a result of slow sales activity, assures the NAHB, labelling the result a "pause in what had been a fairly rapid build-up in confidence".

"This is also reflective of the ongoing challenges that are slowing the housing recovery – particularly tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, competition from foreclosures and problems with obtaining accurate appraisals," commented NAHB chief economist David Crowe.