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Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Falls to Lowest Level Since April of 2009 [View All]

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 09:27 AM
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Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Falls to Lowest Level Since April of 2009
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Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Falls to Lowest Level in a Year
By Bob Willis

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Builders in the U.S. turned more pessimistic in July than forecast, a sign the expiration of a government tax credit will depress home construction.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index dropped to 14 this month, the lowest level since April 2009, from 16 in June, data from the Washington- based group showed today. Readings lower than 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.

The retreat in sales following the April 30 expiration of a deadline to sign purchase agreements and qualify for a tax credit worth as much as $8,000 is lasting longer than projected, the report said. With mounting foreclosures adding to housing inventory and unemployment forecast to end the year at 9.5 percent according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, a housing recovery will take time to develop.

The expiration of the tax credit has clearly hit the housing sector hard, David Semmens, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, said before the report. A persistent lack of improvement in the labor market will keep demand weak and homebuilder activity muted during the second half.

The index was forecast to fall to 16 from a previously reported 17 in June, according to the median of 48 projections in the survey. Economists estimates ranged from 14 to 18. The gauge, which was first published in January 1985, averaged 15 last year. ............(more)

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