Home builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes fell short of economist expectations in January, holding steady at a level of 16 for a third consecutive month, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday.

Economists expected the seasonally adjusted NAHB housing market index to rise to 17. Readings over 50 signal that more builders view sales conditions as being good than poor.

Two of the three component indexes held steady in January — current single-family home sales were unchanged at 16 and sales expectations remained at 25. Prospective buyer traffic rose to 12 from 11.

“Housing remains on the sidelines of a weak economic recovery as consumers and builders wait for clear and consistent indications that jobs and economic output are reviving,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.

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