U.S. homebuilder sentiment remained stuck at historic lows in August, as a glut of distressed homes, tight credit, and economic uncertainty kept new buyers out of the market, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index remained at 15 in August, the group said in a statement, on target with economists' expectations.
Readings below 50 mean more builders view market conditions as poor than favorable.
The index has hovered at historic lows between 14 and 22 since the start of 2008, after it never went below 19 between 1985 and October 2007.
While buying conditions are very favorable in terms of prices, interest rates and selection, consumers are worried about what the future will bring, and builders are echoing those sentiments in their responses to the HMI survey, said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
A large inventory of distressed homes, inaccurate appraisal values, and tight lending standards continue to depress new home demand, Bob Nielsen, chairman of NAHB, said.
Forty-one percent of respondents said they had lost sales contracts because of buyers' inability to sell their current homes.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)