Builder confidence, which had rebounded earlier in the year on hopes that a downturn in the housing market would not be prolonged or pronounced, continues to slide on concerns about problems in subprime mortgage lending. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, a monthly survey gauging builders' expectations for the next six months, shows a level of pessimism not seen since September 2006. This month's index of 30 is down from 33 last month and a recent high of 39 in February. The index can range from 0 to 100, with a score over 50 indicating more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. The survey asks builders about their perceptions of current and future single-family home sales, asking them to rate them as "good," "fair" or "poor....
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