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US homebuilder confidence edges higher in March

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Photo - FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2013 file photo, a builder works on the the roof of a new home under construction in Wilmette, Ill. The National Association of Home Builders reports on sentiment among U.S. builders on Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2013 file photo, a builder works on the the roof of a new home under construction in Wilmette, Ill. The National Association of Home Builders reports on sentiment among U.S. builders on Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
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U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market edged higher this month, reflecting improved demand for new homes as the traditional spring home-selling season ramps up.

But the outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months dimmed slightly as builders continue to grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, ready-to-build land and rising building materials costs.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to 47. That's up from February's reading of 46.

Readings below 50 indicate that more builders view sales conditions as poor rather than good.

Builders' view of current sales conditions for single-family homes and traffic by prospective buyers edged higher since February.

Sales of new homes rebounded in January to the fastest rate in more than five years.

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