U.S. builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes fell in September to its lowest level since May 2014. Buyer traffic is “weak” in many markets as more people “remain on the sidelines” because of increased mortgage rates and high home prices. 24 percent of builders reported cutting their home prices, up from 19 percent last month. Builders continue to grapple with higher construction costs and an “aggressive monetary policy” from the Federal Reserve that helped push mortgage rates last week to their highest level since 2008, association chief economist Robert Dietz says. Buyers have been pulling back in recent months as higher mortgage rates wipe out the cheap money that fueled the housing boom after the pandemic hit. . . .