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Builder Confidence Up for Q4 Single-Family Home Sales

Homebuilder confidence in the single-family market ended the fourth quarter last year on a climb uphill as the wider economy showed improvement.

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The ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/ (NAHB) released a market index Tuesday that recorded a four-point increase year-over-year to 18 for homebuilders in the single-family sector.

The trade group bases the 55+ single-family index off of builder sentiment centered around current home sales, prospective buyer traffic, and forecasts for sales six months down the road. Anything above 50 signals a positive outlook

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among homebuilders for the market.

The index fielded improvements across the board year-over-year, with confidence about current sales ticking up four points to 17, anticipated sales for the next six months up two points to 26, and prospective buyer traffic on a five-point upswing to 15.

""We are seeing increased optimism from builders in the 55+ housing segment,"" NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen, a Reno-based homebuilder, said in a statement.

He said that market conditions remain weak since homeowners feel ""concerned about selling their existing home at a fair price, due to low appraisals, an abundance of foreclosures and tighter mortgage lending criteria.""

Homebuilders also felt more confident about multifamily construction, with thoughts about present production up 17 points to 34, expected future production up 12 points to 35, and current demand for existing units up 14 points to 42.

""As with the overall single-family housing market, we are seeing gradual, but steady, improvement in the 55+ market segment,"" said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

He said that 18 marked the highest fourth-quarter reading for the 55+ market in the history of the index, which the NAHB created in 2008.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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