According to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose for a fifth consecutive month in September.
At a level of 40, this three-point gain brings the HMI to its highest reading since June 2006.
"This fifth consecutive month of improvement in builder confidence provides further assurance that the housing market is moving in a positive direction, but there's still a long way to go on the road to recovery and several obstacles are slowing our progress," said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "In particular, unnecessarily tight credit conditions are preventing many builders from putting crews back to work—which would create needed jobs—and discouraging consumers from pursuing a new-home purchase."
The HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, sales expectations for the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers via a monthly survey. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as positive, rather than negative.
In September, the component gauging current sales gained four points, rising to 42. The component gauging sales prospects increased eight points, to 51. The component measuring traffic of prospective buyers rose one point, to 31.
For complete HMI tables, visit www.nahb.org/hmi .