Home Builder Confidence at Six-Month High

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo housing market index for June rose four points to 49 from a reading of 45 in May. The reading was higher than a consensus forecast of 47 from a Wall Street Journal survey and was the highest reading since last December, though still well short of a peak of 58 last year.

An index reading above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than view them as poor. The June index marks the fifth consecutive month with a reading below 50.

The current sales conditions subindex rose six points in June to 54, and the sales expectations subindex rose to 59, up three points month-over-month. The subindex that estimates prospective buyer traffic rose three points to 36.

The NAHB’s chief economist noted:

Consumers are still hesitant, and are waiting for clear signals of full-fledged economic recovery before making a home purchase. Builders are reacting accordingly, and are moving cautiously in adding inventory.

The three-month moving average index rose in two regions of the country, fell in one and remained unchanged in the fourth. In the South and Northeast regions, the index rose one point to 49 and 34, respectively, while it fell a point to 46 in the Midwest and was unchanged at 47 in the West.

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