U.S. homebuilder confidence holds steady in April

(Reuters) – U.S. homebuilder confidence held steady in April at the highest since last July, snapping four months of gains with uncertainty about interest rates keeping potential home buyers hesitant, data released Monday showed.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index was unchanged this month at 51. Measures of current sales and prospective buyer traffic both ticked up to their highest levels since August while the survey’s measure of sales in the next six months slipped.

“April’s flat reading suggests potential for demand growth is there, but buyers are hesitating until they can better gauge where interest rates are headed,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “With the markets now adjusting to rates being somewhat higher due to recent inflation readings, we still anticipate the Federal Reserve will announce future rate cuts later this year, and that mortgage rates will moderate in the second half of 2024.”

(Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)