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Housing bubble deflating, says builders survey

Housing bubble deflating, says builders survey

WASHINGTON -- In a further sign that the nation's housing market may have begun a long-anticipated slowdown, the nation's home builders are growing somewhat more bearish, with confidence levels eroding across every region of the country.

The monthly Housing Market Index compiled by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Bank, a gauge of builder confidence in the single-family home market, declined four points to a reading of 57, its lowest level since April 2003.

"As expected, the housing market appears to be coming off the recent record pace of home sales," said David Seiders, chief economist for the builders' trade group. "Our surveys indicate that three out of every four builders are experiencing some buyer resistance to current home prices, and many are offering certain concessions to buyers in order to help maintain sales volume."

The economist said his forecast "continues to anticipate an orderly cooling down process for single-family homes and production in 2006."

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