For the first time in over seven years, the nation's home builders are feeling solidly confident about the housing market. A monthly sentiment index from the National Association of Home Builders jumped eight points in June to a reading of 52. Anything above 50 means builders view sales conditions as good.
"With the low inventory of existing homes, an increasing number of buyers are gravitating toward new homes," said NAHB chairman Rick Judson in a release.
While inventories of existing homes have been rising slightly this spring, they are still nearly 14 percent below where they were a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. There were 2.16 million homes available for sale in April, representing a 5.2 month supply. There were just 156,000 newly built single family homes for sale at the end of April, according to the U.S. Census, representing a 4.1 month supply.
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"Builders are experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Today's report is consistent with our forecast for a 29 percent increase in total housing starts this year, which would mark the first time since 2007 that starts have topped the 1 million mark."