7/18/2006 – Increasing interest rate concerns and housing affordability caused builder confidence for new single-family homes to drop to 39, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is down from a high of 72 in June last year and is the lowest in 15 years. In July, all three components of the home builders’ index fell. Current sales index fell to 43 from 47, the expected sales index dropped to 46 from 51, and the traffic of potential buyers index fell to 27 from 29. Builders in the west, who have been the most optimistic as measured by the HMI, recorded the biggest drop, from 60 in June to 51 in July. The release is available at NAHB’s website.