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Builders optimistic in the US

July 24, 2014 - The pace of housing construction stalled in June, according to the US Census Bureau, with total housing starts falling 9.3 per cent for the month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 893,000.  The decline was primarily in the South where local labour and lots shortages were slowing construction activity. Nationwide, the May count of unfilled construction jobs is the third highest since the end of the Great Recession.

Builder sentiment, however, points to more positive conditions in the near term, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which rose four points in July. At a current reading of 53, it's the first time since January that builder condfidence passed the key break-even level of 50. Builder sentiment is up in all four regions of the U.S. and in all components, including current sales, future sales and traffic.