WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- A U.S. home builders confidence index made solid gains in July after climbing above break-even in June, a trade group said.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Index climbed above 50 for the first time in more than seven years in June. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales as good than poor, the NAHB said.
The trade group in June called breaking 50 a major milestone. The index added another six points to 57 in July, the trade group said.
Many economists are saying gains in the U.S. housing market are providing much of the substance to the economic recovery, as families see their wealth rising when their home equity rises.
That confidence appears to be circling around, pushing consumers to consider or place orders for new homes.
"Builders are seeing more motivated buyers," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, who noted that some "previously skyrocketing building material costs have begun to soften."
"Today's report is particularly encouraging in it shows improvement in builder confidence across every region," added NAHB Chairman Rick Judson in a statement.