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Builder confidence remains near record low

Index shows monthly decline in short-term sales outlook

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Builder confidence remained steady in March, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)-Wells Fargo Housing Market Index report released Monday. A rating below 50 signals builders view sales conditions as poor -- the index stood at 9 for March -- it was the fifth straight month the overall index has held steady. The index hit a record low at 8 in January. The 20-year-old index has been in single-digit territory since November -- it averaged 72 during 2005. The index gauges current builder sentiment in the market for newly built single-family homes from a set of survey questions. The survey focuses on buyer traffic, current sales conditions, and sales expectations for the next six months. The index component gauging current sales conditions held at 7 in March, and the component gauging builders' sales expectations for the next six months held at 15. The component that focuses on buyer traffic dropped from 11 in February to 9 in March. The results of ...