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U.S. builder confidence little changed in June

06-19-2012 02:01 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in June remained little changed after hitting a five-year high in a month earlier, a leading industry report revealed on Monday.

The builder sentiment index ticked up one point to 29 from a downwardly revised reading in May, signaling an improving outlook for housing construction, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

"This month's modest uptick in builder confidence comes on the heels of a four-point gain in May and is reflective of the continued, gradual improvement we are seeing in many individual housing markets as more buyers decide to take advantage of today's low prices and interest rates," said the NAHB's chairman Barry Rutenberg.

In June, the HMI component gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 32, which was the highest level since April 2007. The components measuring traffic of prospective buyers and sales expectation in the next six months held unchanged at 23 and 34, respectively.

Recent economic reports had shown some weakening in the pace of recovery, the association noted, adding that overly tight lending conditions and inaccurate appraisals also hampered the sales.

Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn't rebounded above that level since April 2006.

With constant modest improvement recently, the U.S. housing crash is believed to be near the bottom. However, many economists hold that the market still needs years to recover entirely as the bottom will be prolonged.

Editor:Wang Shuo |Source: Xinhua

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