The National Association of Home Builders says its housing market index hit a record low this month as the U.S. financial crisis shook builders' confidence in the prospect for improved sales of new homes.
The Washington-based trade association said Thursday the index tumbled by three points to 14 in October. The index stood at 17 last month, a one-point increase from August.
Index readings higher than 50 indicate positive sentiment about the market.
The report reflects a survey of 446 of residential developers nationwide, tracking builders' perceptions of market conditions.
Builders' gauge of foot traffic by prospective buyers fell two points to 12, while sales expectations over the next six months plunged nine points to 19.
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