Builder Confidence Rises Slightly

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) — Builder confidence in the U.S. market for newly built, single-family homes remains low, but rose in October, a national housing market index indicated.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose 4 points to 18, the highest jump since April 2010, the trade group said.

The break-even point on the index is 50 points. Above 50 indicates more builders in the survey indicated they viewed business conditions as favorable than unfavorable.

“Builder confidence regained some ground in October due to modest improvements in buyer interest in select markets where economic recovery is starting to take hold and where foreclosure activity has remained comparatively subdued,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen in a statement.

NAHB Chief Executive David Crowe said the survey’s headline index moved higher, but not on overwhelming confidence. “It’s worth noting that while some builders have shifted their assessment from of market conditions from poor to fair, relatively few have shifted their assessments from fair to good,” he said.

Crowe said business may be picking up, but foreclosures are putting downward pressure on prices for builders. “And this is further squeezing already tight margins,” he said.

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