December 16th, 2010 8:33 PM by Lehel S.
LOS ANGELES - U.S. homebuilders remain uneasy about the housing market's prospects in the months ahead, discouraged by weak job growth and millions of foreclosures.
The National Association of Home Builders said Wednesday that its monthly reading of builders' sentiment remained unchanged in December at 16. While it remains the highest reading since June, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn't been above that point since April 2006.
The low index reading reflects concern on the part of developers over the weak housing market. New home sales have fallen four times in the past six months. New home prices slid last month to the lowest point in seven years. Many builders slashed prices to compete with the resale home market. Builders are anticipating fewer sales in December than most years, said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, mostly because of competition from sharply discounted foreclosed homes, tighter lending standards and poor overall job growth. December is traditionally one of the slowest times for sales.