New home builders seem to be slowly getting their mojo back. After recovering from the hit they took in the first days of the pandemic, they encountered labor shortages, supply chain issues, and rising material costs. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said that builder confidence in the new home market, driven by strong buyer demand, ticked up slightly this month with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rising 1 point to 83. It is still down by 7 points from the all-time high it reached in November. Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist, said builders continue to face challenges in order to add much needed new homes to the market. While mortgage interest rates have trended higher since February and home prices continue to outstrip inflation, housing demand appears to be solid for now as buyer traffic reached its highest level since November. NAHB’s forecast is for ongoing growth in single-family construction in 2021, albeit at a lower growth rate than realized in 2020.