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U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Slumps To Eight-Year Low In September

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Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. declined for the ninth consecutive month in September, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders on Monday.

The report showed the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index slid to 46 in September from 49 in August. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 48.

With the bigger than expected decrease, the housing market index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 45 in May 2014.

"Builder sentiment has declined every month in 2022, and the housing recession shows no signs of abating as builders continue to grapple with elevated construction costs and an aggressive monetary policy from the Federal Reserve that helped pushed mortgage rates above 6% last week, the highest level since 2008," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

He added, "In this soft market, more than half of the builders in our survey reported using incentives to bolster sales, including mortgage rate buydowns, free amenities and price reductions."

The continued slump by the housing market index reflected decreases by all three of the index's components.

The current sales conditions index dropped fell to 54 in September from 57 in August, while the sales expectations in the next six months index and the traffic of prospective buyers index both edged down by one point to 46 and 31, respectively.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of August.

Housing starts are expected to slip by 0.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.445 million, while building permits are expected to plunge by 4.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.610 million.

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