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Builders still lack confidence in 'stalled' housing market: NAHB

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Homebuilder confidence in newly built single-family market remained unchanged in September from its 17-month low in August, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In its monthly survey done in conjunction with Wells Fargo, the NAHB found its Housing Market Index stayed at 13 in September, still the lowest mark since March 2009. Readings below 50 indicate pessimism about housing market conditions, but the index has stayed below that threshold since early 2006. "The stall in the nation's housing market continues," NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said. "Builders report that the two leading obstacles to new-home sales right now are consumer reluctance in the face of the poor job market and the large number of foreclosed properties for sale. However, we do expect that moderate improvement in the job market will help boost consumer confidence and improve conditions for new-home sales in this year's final quarter." The Index gauges builder perceptions of home sales and sale expectations for the next six months. The component gauging the traffic of prospective buyers edged down a single point to 9. Index readings fell two points in the Northeast to 16 and three points in the Midwest to 12. Confidence did improve two points in the South to 14 and remained unchanged at 8 in the West. Write to Jon Prior.

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