Thursday, October 21, 2004

Home builders' confidence booms in October

Wave of optimism pushes up index

National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo today reported a surge in builder confidence in the real estate market in October.

The builders' group, in a monthly survey of home builders, asks builders to rate current sales of single-family homes, prospects for sales activity in the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers. Scores from the survey are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index, the Housing Market Index. In this index, any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good while fewer builders view sales conditions as poor.

Builder confidence in current sales activity reached 78 in October, a five-point gain over the September index. Builder confidence in expected sales over the next six months reached 84, up nine points since September. And the traffic of prospective buyers rose to 54, or two points higher than the September index. The index for builder confidence in current single-family home sales and future single-family home sales over the next six months were at a record high for the year, while the index measuring traffic of prospective buyers was down from a high of 56 in August. And the overall index of 72 for October 2004 equaled its October 2003 level.


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