A report from Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that homebuilders remained at record-gloomy levels in August as the housing market index, which measures builder confidence, stayed at a record low of 16.

The index, which is made of three components, has a 22-year history.

The sales expectations index improved two points to 25, but the present housing index for single-family homes fell one point to 15. Meanwhile, the traffic of prospective buyers component remained at 12.

A rating above 50 indicates optimism from home builders.

In the last 12 months, the index has dropped a total of 6 points. Back in February 2007, the index had a value of 39.

By Patrick McGee and edited by Megan Ainscow