US homebuilder confidence remains stuck at rock bottom

AMERICAN homebuilder confidence remained unchanged in September, having fallen to its lowest level for 18 months in August, as concern about the rate of foreclosures and poor job prospects continued to dampened demand, a report said yesterday.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) report showed homebuilders felt there was little reason for optimism with the gauge unchanged at 13 in September, its lowest level since March 2009.

NAHB chief economist David Crowe acknowledged there were legitimate concerns about the US housing market but was more optimistic about future months.

He 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, suggesting a moderate improvement in the job market will help boost consumer confidence and improve conditions for new-home sales in this year’s final quarter.”

Regionally, across the US, homebuilder confidence fell two points in the Northeast and three points in the Midwest, to 16 and 12, respectively.

The South posted a two-point improvement to 14, while the West remained unchanged, at 8.