NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Homebuilder sentiment fell to an eight-month low in June as a perfect storm of weak existing-home prices, rising material costs, distressed property sales and sluggish consumer confidence brewed in the housing market.
Nielsen is far from alone in his view. Data released by NAHB Wednesday morning showed that its index of builder sentiment plunged 3 points in June as confidence waned and the economic recovery stalled. The NAHB Housing Market Index, which measures builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, came in several points lower at a reading of 13 in June, much lower than the reading of 16 economists had expected, according to consensus estimates listed on Briefing.com. Any reading below 50 indicates poor sentiment. The index has not been above 50 since April 2006. It had held steady at a reading of 16 for six of the past seven months.
A total of 70% of all loan applications last week was for refinancing existing mortgages, up from 67.3% in the prior week.
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