OUTLOOK WORSENS: The outlook among homebuilders worsened in September. The National Association of Home Builders said its builder sentiment index fell to 14 from 15 in August. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.
LOW LEVELS: The index has been below 20 for all but one month during the past two years. It hasn't reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.
ECONOMIC STRUGGLES: The short-term prospects for the industry are bleak. Many consumers are unwilling or unable to move forward with a home purchase in today's economy, the trade group said.