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U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Improves Much More Than Expected In June

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Suggesting housing is well positioned to lead a post-pandemic economic recovery, the National Association of Home Builders released a report on Tuesday showing a continued rebound in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of June.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index spiked to 58 in June from 37 in May, continuing to rebound from the nearly eight-year low of 30 set in April. Economists had expected the index to climb to 45.

"Housing clearly shows signs of momentum as challenges and opportunities exist in the single-family market," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "Builders report increasing demand for families seeking single-family homes in inner and outer suburbs that feature lower density neighborhoods."

He added, "At the same time, elevated unemployment and the risk of new, local virus outbreaks remain a risk to the housing market."

The much bigger than expected jump by the housing market index reflected substantial increases by all three component indices.

The index gauging current sales conditions surged up to 63 in June from 42 in May, while the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months soared to 68 from 46 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers vaulted to 43 from 21.

Looking at the monthly average regional HMI scores, the NAHB said the Northeast surged 31 point to 48, the South jumped 20 points to 62, the Midwest posted a 19-point gain to 51 and the West catapulted 22 points to 66.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of May.

Housing starts are expected to jump to an annual rate of 1.095 million in May from 891,000 in April, while building permits are expected to surge up to an annual rate of 1.228 million from 1.066 million.

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