CNBC's Diana Olick on JP Morgan's home builder conference in New York this week:

The tone was cautious optimism, as executives from the major public home builders gathered Tuesday at a conference in New York City, sponsored by JPMorgan. They used the word "moderate" over and over again, in describing the current state of the housing recovery.

Demand for new homes is rising, but construction, so far, is well below historical norms. Some suggested that builders are still gun-shy from the recession. Builders say they are simply responding to a cautious consumer.

"This is a tough market condition. We have seen the market recover since the downturn, but the recovery has been slow, steady and in a pretty tight band," said Stuart Miller, CEO of Miami-based Lennar.

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