For US home builders, the current market is "challenging". In PR-speak, the word "challenging" means "total, unmitigated disaster".

Today, confidence among U.S. home builders crumbled this month to the lowest level in 16 years. The home builder sentiment index declined to 24 this month. We have to go back to January 1991 to find it at a lower reading.

Home builders certainly have plenty of problems out there to get them depressed. Inventories are high, sales are declining, prices are crashing, prospective buyer traffic is falling off and interest rates will stay at their current elevated level for months to come. Moreover, all those incentives, which have understated the true extent of the price crash,just aren't working anymore.

Things are so bad, it must be a challenge for US home builders to even get themselves out of bed in the morning.