Rising mortgage rates are starting to take their toll on the nation's homebuilders, who are more concerned about affordability heading into the all-important spring housing market as mortgage rates surge.
Builders' sales expectations for the next six months declined a steep 10 points to 70, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index doesn't often see such large monthly moves. Builders' view of current sales conditions fell 3 points to 86.
Overall, builder sentiment in the market for single-family homes dropped 2 points to 79 in March. February's read was also revised lower. Last March it stood at 82. This is the fourth straight monthly decline and the first time the index has slipped below 80 since last September, when the delta variant of Covid-19 was spreading. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment. Overall sentiment is still good, but there are concerns for later this year.