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Builder Confidence Rebounds After October Drop

construction-twoHomebuilder confidence in the single-family housing market bounced this month following a stumble in October, according to a popular measure.

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Housing Market Index, a closely watched gauge of builder sentiment, rose four points in the latest reading to a level of 58, the group reported. An index value above 50 indicates a market predominately viewed as good rather than poor.

The increase followed a five-point drop in October and put the index close to its September reading of 59, a nearly nine-year high.

NAHB's chief economist, David Crowe, cited low interest rates, affordable house prices, and "solid" job creation as the catalyst behind the recent trend of rising confidence.

"After a slow start to the year, the HMI has remained above the 50-point benchmark for five consecutive months, and we expect the momentum to continue into 2015," Crowe said.

All three of the index's components improved in November, led by a five-point gain in the gauge tracking current sales conditions, which came up to 62. The index measuring expectations for future home sales moved just two points, landing at 66, while the index gauging traffic from prospective homebuyers increased four points to 45.

"Members in many areas of the country continue to see increasing buyer traffic and signed contracts," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. "Growing confidence among consumers is what's fueling this optimism among builders."

Sentiment improved all around the country, pushing up past the 50 benchmark in each of the four census regions. The Northeast's seasonally adjusted index rose the most, jumping 12 points to a reading of 51. It was followed by a gain of seven points in the West to 60, three points in the Midwest to 56, and two points in the South to 62.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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