LOS ANGELES — Homebuilders remain discouraged about the prospects for improved home sales in the months ahead, unconvinced the economy will spur the kind of job growth needed to coax more buyers into the market.
The National Association of Home Builders said yesterday that its monthly reading of builders’ sentiment was unchanged in January at 16, where it has been since November.
While it remains the highest reading since June, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index has not been above that level since April 2006.
“At this point, housing remains on the sidelines of a weak economic recovery as consumers and builders wait for clear and consistent indications that jobs and economic output are reviving,’’ said David Crowe, the trade association’s chief economist.
Many smaller, private builders also continue to have a tough time getting construction loans and other financing, which could significantly slow the onset of a housing recovery, Crowe noted.
The latest builder sentiment report reflects a survey of 420 US residential developers.