Posted on 15 Aug 2011
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders was little changed in August, indicating the outlook for housing remains depressed.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence was 15 for a second month, matching the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, data from the Washington-based group showed today. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.
Sales have failed to rebound at builders like D.R Horton Inc. as unemployment at 9.1 percent and concern about the faltering economy keep away buyers.
The industry also is struggling with foreclosures, which boost supply and hurt property prices.
“Builder confidence doesn’t look like it’ll improve much,” Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, said before the report.
“Everything seems to be bumping along the bottom. Demand remains very weak.”
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 12 to 17. The gauge, which was first published in January 1985, reached a record low of 8 in January 2009 and averaged 54 in the five years before the recession began in December 2007.