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NAHB: Builder confidence slips in July

The National Association of Home Builders said builderconfidence in the U.S. market for newly constructed single-family homes in Julyfell 1 point to 59 from the June reading of 60 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo HousingMarket Index.

The HMI component measuring sales expectations and buyertraffic each came down one point to 63 and 45, respectively. The indexmeasuring sales expectations in the next six months registered a three-pointdrop to 66. Any number over 50 on the indexes indicates morebuilders see conditions as good than poor.

The three-month moving averages for the Northeast, Midwestand South were unchanged at 39, 57 and 61, respectively. The West inched up 1point to 69.

NAHB Chairman Ed Brady said in a release that builderconfidence has remained in a narrow positive range for the past six monthsreflecting the gradual recovery in the housing market. "However, we arestill hearing reports from our members of scattered softness in some markets,due largely to regulatory constraints and shortages of lots and labor," headded.