The nation's single-family home builders are feeling a lot better about their business, even as mortgage rates move higher. A monthly sentiment index hit the highest level in July since November of 2005, matching June's revised level.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) came in at 60; 50 is the line between positive and negative sentiment. The index was at 53 in July of 2014. June's reading was revised higher from 59 to 60.
"This month's reading is in line with recent data showing stronger sales in both the new and existing home markets as well as continued job growth," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "However, builders still face a number of challenges, including shortages of lots and labor."
That sentiment was echoed in the latest survey of economic conditions by the Federal Reserve, known as the Beige Book:
"Firms from several districts continued to describe shortages for particular types of skilled labor, predominantly in the construction industry."