Homebuilder sentiment deteriorated a tiny bit in December.
The NAHB housing market index unexpectedly fell to 57 in December from 58 in November.
Economists had expected a 59 reading.
Still, sentiment is near a 9-year high.
“After a sluggish start to 2014, the HMI has stabilised in the mid-to-high 50s index level trend for the past six months, which is consistent with our assessment that we are in a slow march back to normal,”NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said. “As we head into 2015, the housing market should continue to recover at a steady, gradual pace.”
Here’s some more colour from the NAHB:
…The index gauging current sales conditions fell one point to 61, while the index measuring expectations for future sales dropped a single point to 65 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers held steady at 45.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West rose by four points to 62 and the Northeast edged up one point to 45, while the Midwest registered a three-point loss to 54 and the South dropped two points to 60.