By Diana Olick, CNBC Real Estate Reporter NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- As if we really needed a reminder that today's housing market is still very fragile, the first installment in a slew of housing data to be released this week came in below expectations. Home builder sentiment, as measured by the National Association of Home Builders' monthly sentiment survey, was unchanged in March, and February's reading was revised down. This after five straight months of gains in builder confidence. "Many of our members continue to cite obstacles on the road to recovery, including persistently tight builder and buyer credit and the ongoing inventory of distressed properties in some markets, said NAHB chief economist David Crowe in a release.
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Weather cannot be discounted in home sales, especially sales of new construction, since builders can offer potentially faster turnarounds for new orders if they're not hampered by frozen earth. February saw a big spike in the "current sales" component of the home builder sentiment index. Buyer traffic in March was unchanged. --Written by Diana Olick at CNBC