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U.S. builder index climbs in November

Nov. 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. builders' confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose to a six-year high in November, a trade group said Monday.

The National Association of Home Builders said the Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for builder confidence rose for a seventh consecutive month, adding a solid six points to reach 46 -- its highest level since May 2006.

"Builders are reporting increasing demand for new homes as inventories of foreclosed and distressed properties begin to shrink in markets across the country," NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg said in a news release.

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said the index is closing in on the break-even point of 50, where an equal number of builders consider market conditions good as those who consider it poor.

"While our confidence gauge has yet to breach the 50 mark ... we have certainly made substantial progress since this time last year, when the HMI stood at 19," he said.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is based on a monthly NAHB survey measuring builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months.

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