Homebuilder confidence slips

Homebuilders' confidence remains low.After inching up last month, the National Association of Home Builders says builders across the country continue to be frustrated by a lack of improvement in the housing market and the high numbers of foreclosures.The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for April came in at 16, down one point from the mark of 17 set in March. While builders are seeing some improvements, the overall feeling is pessimistic.”The best sales activity appears to be happening in the lower price ranges, where first-time buyers have greater flexibility than repeat buyers who must sell their current home,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “Consumers who can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates and very attractive pricing are finding bargains and are buying.”The index has now rested at 16 for five of the past six months. Anything below 50 means that more builders have a negative opinion about the state of the housing market.Many buyers are choosing to purchase discounted foreclosures rather than newly built properties. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, they have made up more than 20 percent of existing home sales in recent months.Courtesy of 2M Realty News

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