“I take issue with the NAHB’s belief that higher rates hasn’t deterred buyers, as the purchase component of weekly mortgage applications are near the lowest of the year, and as the [number] of first-time homebuyers still remain well below historical trends,” said Peter Boockvar of The Lindsey Group. “What we are beginning to see are investors buying new homes who then in turn rent them out. We are in a secular change towards renting.”
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Of the survey’s three components, current sales conditions jumped 6 points, sales expectations over the next six months rose 2 points and buyer traffic gained 3 points. While improving, buyer traffic is the only component still showing negative sentiment.
Some, including noted analyst Ivy Zelman, have lowered their forecasts for both new home sales and housing starts for 2014, citing rising mortgage rates and too-high new home prices. Builders were forced to raise prices amid tight land, labor and supply conditions. Those prices, however, may start to moderate this spring.
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Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101278783