Builders: No signs of housing recovery

The latest survey of homebuilders' confidence shows that the market remains in rough shape and will remain in a funk six months from now.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Homebuilders' confidence fell once again in May and their view of the state of the battered market hit a record low.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo monthly index fell to its second lowest reading on record, ahead of only last December's reading.

Builders were asked for their view of the current market, the amount of the buyers looking at homes and expectations for six months from now.

Only 6% of the builders surveyed believe the current market is good while 69% view it as poor. Builders also reported a lower level of people looking to buy new homes.

And 51% of the builders said they now expect conditions to remain poor six months from now, up from 47% who were expecting a poor outlook in the previous reading.

"The message is very clear: The single-family housing market is still deteriorating and Congress and the Administration must move immediately to enact legislation that will help reverse the trend," said NAHB President Sandy Dunn, a homebuilder from Point Pleasant, W.Va.

The group is backing a proposed homebuyer tax credit of up to $7,500 for qualified buyers as a way to try to jump start the market.

The report comes a day ahead of the government's latest report on housing starts and building permits. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com forecast that starts fell to an annual rate of 940,000 April, which would mark a 17-year low. Permits, also viewed as a reading on builder's confidence in the market, are forecast to slip to 912,000, which would also be a 17-year low.

Earlier this week, luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL, Fortune 500) reported sharp drops in both revenue and new orders when it released preliminary results, saying that even many buyers who put down a deposit aren't taking the next step of signing a contract due to lack of confidence in the market. To top of page

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