The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released its housing market index for the U.S. on Tuesday. The NAHB housing market index declined to 58 in February from 61 in January, missing expectations for a decrease to 60. January's figure was revised up from 60.
A level above 50.0 is considered positive, below indicates a negative outlook.
The buyer traffic sub-index decreased to 39 in February from 44 in January, the current sales conditions sub-index fell to 65 from 68, while the sub-index measuring sales expectations in the next six months increased to 65 from 64.
"Builders reported more consumer concern over the price of new homes relative to existing homes as builders face higher costs for labour, land and materials," the NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said.
"Historically low mortgage rates, steady job gains, improved household formations and significant pent up demand all point to a gradual upward trend for housing in the year ahead," he added.