WASHINGTON — The outlook among U.S. homebuilders has been bad all year. And this month it became grimmer.

An index that measures builders’ sentiment for their industry fell three points in June to 13, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday. That’s the lowest level in nine months. And it’s just five points above the lowest reading on record, from January 2009. That’s when the housing market was feeling the brunt of the housing bust.

Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn’t been above that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

An index that gauges sales expectations over the next six months dropped four points, to 15. That matched the lowest level on records dating back to 1985.

Last year, the number of people who bought new homes hit its lowest level on record. This year isn’t looking much better.

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new-home sales in April was 323,000, less than half the 700,000 units annually that economists consider healthy.

Fewer homes mean fewer jobs. Each new home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the builders’ trade group.

Builders cited two chief reasons for the waning confidence in their business: competition from foreclosures and properties at risk of foreclosure, which sell at an average 20 percent discount; and rising costs of building materials, such as roofing, copper and vinyl siding.