Builders' confidence in the market for new single-family homes held at its low level as the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index — a monthly gauge of builder sentiment — remained at 15 in August.

Thomson Reuters' poll of economists predicted the index would remain at 15.

The current single-family home sales index grew to 16 from 15, and the sales expectations index for the next six months fell to 19 from 21.

The traffic of prospective buyers index rose to 13 from 12.

"Builders continue to confront the same major challenges they have seen over the past year, including competition from the large inventory of distressed homes on the market, inaccurate appraisal values, and issues with their buyers not being able to sell an existing home or qualify for favorable mortgage rates because of overly tight underwriting requirements," said NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen.

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