Home-building index rises
The National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for June rose to 29, its highest mark since May 2007.
"This month's modest uptick in builder confidence comes on the heels of a four-point gain in May and is reflective of the continued, gradual improvement we are seeing in many individual housing markets as more buyers decide to take advantage of today's low prices and interest rates," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.
The index gauges builders’ beliefs on the market for single-family homes, rating sales and expectations as well as customer traffic. A number above 50 indicates a majority view conditions as good.
David Crowe, the association’s chief economist, said the index could be higher if the nation’s recovery was stronger and bank lending standards returned to normal.
"While the June HMI is in keeping with our forecast for gradually improving single-family home sales this year, recent economic reports that have shown some weakening in the pace of recovery likely factored into the marginal gain," Crowe said. "In addition, builders across the country continue to report that overly tight lending conditions and inaccurate appraisals are major obstacles to completing sales at this time."