Bob the Builder

Photo: Premkudva/Wikimedia Commons

Builder confidence for newly constructed, single-family homes inched up in December.

Builder perceptions improved four points to a 58 reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, released today. The gain showed increasing confidence in all three index factors of current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers.

“This is definitely an encouraging sign as we move into 2014,” National Association of Home Builders Chairman Rick Judson said in a statement. “The HMI is up 11 points since December of 2012 and has been above 50 for the past seven months.”

The recent spike in mortgage interest rates has not deterred consumers, since rates as still near historically low levels, according to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. He added that the recent uptick in builder confidence is “due in part to release of the pent-up demand caused by the uncertainty generated by the October government shutdown.”

For the three-month moving averages of regional HMI scores, the South rose one point to 57. The Northeast, Midwest and West each fell a single point to 38, 59 and 59, respectively.

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