By Evan Sully
(Reuters) - U.S. homebuilder confidence in the market for single family homes fell in June to its lowest level since August 2020, dented by higher housing costs and shortages in key materials such as lumber.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index declined to a reading of 81 this month from 83 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index would be unchanged at 83. A reading above 50 means more builders view market conditions as favorable than poor. The index hit an all-time high of 90 in November 2020.
"While builders have adopted a variety of business strategies including price escalation clauses to deal with scarce building materials, labor and lots, unavoidable increases for new home prices are pushing some buyers to the sidelines," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "Moreover, these supply-constraints are resulting in insufficient appraisals and making it more difficult for builders to access construction loans."
Surging home prices and limited supply has put a lid on home sales recently, and fewer U.S. consumers believe that now is a good time to buy a home.
The NAHB survey's measure of single-family home sales expectations in the next six months fell 2 points to a reading of 79 in June, while a gauge of current sales conditions decreased 2 points to 86.
The prospective buyers index fell two points to 71.
(Reporting By Evan Sully; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)