The July Nat’l Assoc of Home Builders index rose 2 points to 17, 1 point more than the consensus and it’s at the highest level since Sept ’08 (which is the case now with many economic numbers). But, it’s still obviously well below the magic 50 level. There was a 3 point improvement in the Present conditions component while Future expectations were unchanged. The Prospective Buyers Traffic rose 1 point and was solely led by an increase in the South. The Northeast area fell 3 points while the West and Midwest were unchanged. The average 30 year mortgage rate so far in July is 5.34% according to Bankrate.com down from 5.48% in June. This measure of sentiment also reflects the $8,000 federal home purchase tax credit which is limited to first time home buyers (expires on Nov 30th ’09) and the $10,000 tax credit in California which only is for buyers of new homes (expires in March ’10).
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