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July 19, 2010    

US home builder confidence slumps in July

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by Kay Murchie
US home builder confidence slumps in July

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today revealed a fall in confidence, sending shares lower.

Wall Street experienced falls after the US home builder sentiment index fell in July to the lowest level since April 2009 after the Government tax credit incentive expired a few months ago.

According to the index, confidence among US home builders continued to slump as the US housing market continues to struggle and weakens demand for construction.

The National Association of Home Builders said its index fell from 16 to 14 in July - worse than economists had expected.

It was the second consecutive month that home builder sentiment declined and according to the Association, builders are being hampered by competition from foreclosed homes selling at bargain prices, as well as tight credit conditions.

However, the NAHB said the outlook for the housing market in the next six months had improved.

Meanwhile, on a regional basis, builders in the midwest, south and west all struggled but builder sentiment grew by seven points in the north-east.

Commenting on the data, Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets, said “It shows sentiment remains fragile but it is by no means a disaster. We keep getting told this is going to be an uneven recovery and the data we are seeing is proving it.”

Meanwhile, Paul Dales at Capital Economics, said the expiration of the tax credit has sparked a “double-dip in activity.”

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