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Homebuilder Confidence Improves To Highest Level In A Year


Monday afternoon, the National Association of Home Builders released its report on homebuilder confidence in the month of August, showing that its homebuilder confidence index rose to its highest level in over a year.

The report showed that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 18 in August from 17 in July. With the increase, which came in line with economist estimates, the index rose to its highest level since June of 2008.

"Home builder expectations have been buoyed by the success of the first-time home buyer tax credit and its anticipated boost to buying activity leading up to the Nov. 30 expiration date," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a homebuilder from Tulsa, Okla.

Robson added, "The question is what happens after that - whether there will be enough momentum to keep us moving toward a recovery, particularly in light of significant headwinds."

The NAHB noted that it is calling on Congress to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit for another year and to offer it to all income-eligible buyers.

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, "There is definitely a sense of hope among builders that the worst of the downturn is over and that a turning point is near at hand."

"Meaningful action by Congress could ensure that this upward momentum continues and that housing can help push the economy back onto solid ground," Crowe added.

The report showed that the increase by the housing market index was due in large part to an increase by the index gauging sales expectations in the next six months, which rose to 30 in August from 26 in July.

The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose to 16 in August from 13 in July, while the index gauging current sales conditions was unchanged at 16.

On a regional basis, the housing market index for the Northeast increased to 24 in August from 16 in July, while the Midwest posted a two-point gain to 16 and the West posted a three-point gain to 17. Meanwhile, the housing market index for the South edged down to 18 from 19.

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