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U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Shows Slight Pullback In November

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After reporting an unexpected improvement in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the previous month, the National Association of Home Builders released a report on Monday showing confidence edged slightly lower in the month of November.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index slipped to 70 in November after climbing to 71 in October. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

The modest decrease came after the housing market index rose for four straight months to reach its highest level since hitting a matching reading in February of 2018.

"We have seen substantial year-over-year improvement following the housing affordability crunch of late 2018, when the HMI stood at 60," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

"However, lot shortages remain a serious problem, particularly among custom builders," he added. "Builders also continue to grapple with other affordability headwinds, including a lack of labor and regulatory constraints."

The slight pullback by the headline index came as the index gauging current sales conditions fell to 76 in November from 78 in October and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers dipped to 53 from 54.

On the other hand, the NAHB said the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months crept up to 77 in November from 76 in October.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of October on Tuesday.

Housing starts are expected to jump to an annual rate of 1.320 million in October after tumbling to a rate of 1.256 million in September.

Economists expect building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, to dip to a rate of 1.385 million after slumping to a rate of 1.387 million in the previous month.

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