Builders' confidence in the market for new single-family homes fell slightly, as the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index, a monthly gauge of builder sentiment, dipped to 16 in April from 17 in March.

Thomson Reuters' poll of economists had predicted a level of 17.

Derived from a monthly survey that the association has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as either good, fair, or poor.

The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as either high to very high, average or low to very low. Scores for each component are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index in which a number over 50 indicates a favorable view of sales conditions.

Two of the three component indexes fell in April.

The current single-family home sales index slipped to 16 from 17, and the sales expectations index for the next six months slumped to 23 from 26. The traffic of prospective buyers index climbed to 13 from 12.

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