Builders’ confidence in the market for new single-family homes dropped again in June, as the National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index — a monthly gauge of builder sentiment — slipped to 18 from 19 in May, the group announced yesterday.

IFR Markets’ poll of economists predicted a level of 20.

“Clearly, conditions in the housing market remain very weak, and our builder members are not seeing any signs of improvement,” noted NAHB chief economist David Seiders. “Indeed, the continuing erosion of employment and consumer confidence/sentiment, coupled with surging energy costs, falling house prices and rising home mortgage foreclosures, pose considerable downside risks to the economy and our housing forecast. A targeted stimulus such as a temporary home-buyer tax credit would help turn this situation around and restore housing as an engine of economic growth.”

Two of the three component indexes were flat, while the third fell. The current single-family home sales index held at 17, while the sales expectations index for the next six months remained 28, and the traffic of prospective buyers index dropped to 17 from 18.

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