Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Rises Most Since September 2002 [View all]
By Michelle Jamrisko - Jul 17, 2012
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders increased in July by the most in almost a decade, indicating further improvement in residential real estate.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index climbed 6 points, the biggest gain since September 2002, to 35 this month, a report from the Washington- based group showed today. The gauge exceeded the most-optimistic projection in a Bloomberg News survey of 46 economists. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.
Builders said they were more upbeat about sales prospects as both current purchases and buyer traffic improved, showing the industry is being fueled by record-low mortgage rates and cheaper properties. At the same time, limited job growth, stricter credit standards and foreclosures are hurdles for the industry that precipitated the last recession.
“The housing market has turned the corner as more buyers perceive the benefits of purchasing a newly built home while interest rates and prices are so favorable,” Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Gainesville, Florida, said in a statement.