Homebuilding Dips, But Year Best Since 2007

The Associated Press

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U.S. homebuilders remain generally upbeat ahead of the spring home-buying season.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped to 56 in January, down slightly from a 57 reading in December. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. Even with the small dip, the overall index remains in positive territory and is nine points higher than it was a year ago.

The spring buying and selling season kicks off next month, traditionally the time of the year that sets the tone for residential hiring and construction. Many builders, particularly smaller firms, sell homes that will take months to build.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the homebuilders association.

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