WASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders are less pessimistic about the housing market, but not enough to signal a recovery soon.
The National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday that its index of builder sentiment this month rose from 14 to 18. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. It hasn’t reached 50 since April, 2006, the peak of the housing boom. The index has been below 20 for all but one month during the past two years.
Last year, the number of people who bought new homes fell to its lowest level dating back nearly a half-century. Sales this year haven’t been much higher.