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Home builders say moving activity still depressed

Home builders remain pessimistic about the housing market.

Home builders remain pessimistic about the housing market.

As the economy slowly turns around, home builders say they're still not seeing many signs of an improving moving recovery.

According to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index, builder confidence remains low. The index remained at 13 for the second consecutive month. Anything below 50 indicates that builders have a negative opinion on the market's prospects.

"In general, builders haven't seen any reason for improved optimism in market conditions over the past month," noted NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. "If anything, consumer uncertainty has increased, and builders feel their hands are tied until potential homebuyers feel more secure."

Economists said that the two largest problems in relation to new home construction were the high prevalence of foreclosed properties and the poor jobs market, which was hindering many families' relocation efforts.

That jobs recovery may be years away, according to some predictions. Estimates from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that unemployment in the U.S. may remain relatively high until 2013.