Builder sentiment continues to creep higher

The August NAHB home builder survey rose to 37 from 35 in July and is better than estimate of 35. It’s the highest reading since Feb ’07 but of course remains well below 50. The Present view for single family sales rose 3 pts to 39 while the Outlook was up 1 pt to 44. Prospective Buyers Traffic gained 3 pts to 31 with increases in the Midwest and South while the Northeast and West were lower. The NAHB chief economist summed up the report with this, “This 4th consecutive increase in builder confidence provides further evidence of the gradual strengthening that’s occurring in many housing markets and providing a needed boost to local economies. However, we are still at a very fragile stage of this process and builders continue to express frustration regarding the inventory of distressed properties, inaccurate appraisal values, and the difficulty of accessing credit for both building and buying homes.”

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