Anything below a figure of 50 is considered recession level. In March, it was 44. In April, it was 42.
Economists had expected an increase to 45.
Too many buyers cannot get credit, despite low mortgage rates. The low rates are a benefit only if a borrower can qualify for the loan. Home builders say shoppers are hampered by existing requirements.
Lenders are sitting on millions of homes that are worth less than the face value of the money owed on their mortgages. Lenders do not want millions more in the next downturn.