Without federal tax credits to boost demand, builder confidence dropped to its lowest level since March 2009. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell two points to 14 in the month of July. The monthly survey gauges builders’ perception of the market for newly built, single-family homes. A number below 50 indicates more builders see conditions as poor than good. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said the lower number reflects the underlying market conditions, including hesitant buyers, tight credit, and the number of foreclosed and distressed properties priced below the cost of construction. More here, here, and here.