The index of confidence among building professionals in an industry battered during the recession reached a nearly eight-year peak in August, then turned flat in September.
But in October, the index gave up 2 points and September's reading was revised downward, the trade group said.
The so-called NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index settled down to a reading of 55, the monthly report said.
"A spike in mortgage interest rates along with the paralysis in Washington that led to the government shutdown and uncertainty regarding the nation's debt limit have caused builders and consumers to take pause," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in a statement.
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