Private survey shows that optimism of U.S. homebuilders is at 10-month high

August 29, 2004|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

An index of U.S. homebuilder optimism rose this month to its highest point in almost a year as lower mortgage rates underpinned demand, a private survey showed.

The National Association of Home Builders said its measure of builder confidence in demand for single-family houses was 71, the highest since October and up from 67 last month. A reading greater than 50 means that builders view market conditions as more positive than negative. The index has exceeded 60 for 15 months in a row.

The Federal Reserve has raised the nation's benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points twice in the past seven weeks, and mortgage rates have fallen afterward each time.

A gauge of buyer traffic in the builders' survey rose to 57, the highest since May 1999, from 51 last month. The index's measure of current sales rose to 76 this month from 74, and a gauge of sales expectations for the next six months rose to 78 from 74.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.