WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Builder confidence in the U.S. market for newly built, single-family homes has been steady and low for the year, a national housing market index indicated.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose 2 points to 15 in July, held even in August and dropped to 14 in September.
The association said, the index "has now held between 13 and 16 for six consecutive months.
"Very little has changed in terms of housing market conditions so far this year," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
"Builders continue to confront the same challenges in accessing construction credit, obtaining accurate appraisal values for new homes and competing against foreclosed properties that they have seen for some time. Beyond this, both builder and consumer confidence took a hit in recent weeks with the market disruptions caused by the S&P downgrade and congressional gridlock on the budget deficit," he said.
For September, the sales conditions index fell one point to 14. The index that covers sales expectations for the next six months dropped two points to 17. The index that measures prospective buyers dropped two points to 11.
The index compiles the answers to the three component questions. A score of 50 or better indicates more builders view conditions favorably than view them as bad.
Regionally, the Housing Market Index crept up one point to 11 in the Midwest and posted two-point declines in the Northeast and South to settle at 15. In the West, the regional index fell three points to 12.