WASHINGTON -- U.S. homebuilders are feeling a little less pessimistic about the struggling housing market. But their mood hasn't changed enough to signal a recovery anytime soon.
The National Association of Home Builders says its builder sentiment index rose to 20 in November. That's the highest level since May 2010 and only the second month the index has been at 20 or above in two years. The trade group cited low mortgage rates as a chief factor.
Still, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. It hasn't reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.
Last year, the number of people who bought new homes fell to its lowest level on records going back nearly a half-century. Sales this year could fare just as bad.
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