Summary Box: Builder Sentiment

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2011 4:05 PM
Summary Box: Builder Sentiment

SLIGHTLY MORE UPBEAT: The National Association of Home Builders said its March index of industry sentiment improved slightly to 17 _ the first gain in five months after four straight readings of 16.

PESSIMISM ABOUNDS: Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn't been above that level since April 2006.

FUTURE BLEAK: Last year was the worst in more than a decade for sales of previously owned homes and the worst for new-home sales in a half-century. Economists say home prices will bottom out in 2011 before a modest but slow recovery begins.