Confidence among U.S. homebuilders in September unexpectedly held at the lowest level in more than a year, showing the housing market remains depressed following the expiration of a government tax credit.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index was unchanged at 13, matching the August reading as the lowest since March 2009, data from the Washington-based group showed today. The gauge was projected to rise to 14, according to the median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Home sales will be slow to improve as unemployment hovers near 10 percent and foreclosures mount, preventing builders including Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. from taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates. A tax incentive of as much as $8,000 provided only temporary relief for housing, the industry that precipitated the worst recession since the 1930s.
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