Homebuilders continue to hold a dim view in the buyer demand for the third consecutive month in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo (WFC) index. The index gauges builder perceptions of the new, single-family home market. A score above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor, but in January, the index scored a 16, the same as December and November. NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen said builders are still on the lookout for signs of economic improvement. "Unfortunately, a severe lack of construction financing, and widespread difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisal values, continue to limit builders' ability to prepare for anticipated improvements in buyer demand in 2011," Nielsen said. Builders were most optimistic in the Northeast, though the score there fell two points to 20, followed by the West at 17. The most pessimism came from the Midwest, where builders scored conditions a 14. While the condition of the market remained unchanged nationally, the index measuring potential homebuyer traffic edged up a single point to 12 in January. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior