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Builder confidence unchanged in November

Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes remains unchanged in November, attributed to ongoing mortgage market problems, overflowing home inventories and ongoing concerns about the negative impact of media coverage, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released Nov. 20.

The November HMI held even with October’s upwardly revised 19 reading, its lowest point since the series began in January 1985.

“Consistent with what builders said in last month’s survey, many are reporting that their special sales incentives are having limited success in terms of getting buyers in the door,” said NAHB president Brian Catalde, a home builder from El Segundo, Calif.

Catalde further said that builders “are worried that the national media has tended to report negative housing stories as if there is one real estate market, when, in fact, there is no such thing -- all housing markets are local. As a result, some healthy markets are being unfairly impacted by this negative media coverage.”

“The message from today’s report is that builders do not see any significant change in housing market conditions as compared to last month,” said NAHB chief economist David Seiders. “While they continue to work down inventories of unsold homes and reposition themselves for the market’s eventual recovery, they realize it will be some time before market conditions support an upswing in building activity -- most likely by the second half of 2008.”

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