Homebuilder Sentiment Index Jumps in April

Construction work
Construction work

The National Association of Home Builders says its housing market index climbed in April, buoyed by improved sales as homebuyers raced to qualify for tax incentives due to expire this month.

The Washington-based trade association said Thursday its index rose four points to 19, the highest reading since September.

Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment about the market. The last time the index was above 50 was in April 2006. The report reflects a survey of 417 residential developers nationwide.

The reading for current sales conditions jumped five points to 20. The index measuring foot traffic from prospective buyers rose four points to 14, while the index for sales expectations over the next six months inched up one point to 25.