Builders’ confidence in the market for new single-family homes gained in September, as the National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index — a monthly gauge of builder sentiment — increased to 18 from 16 in August, the group announced yesterday.

IFR Markets’ poll of economists predicted a level of 17.

“Nearly half of the builders in our September survey indicated that they expect to see a positive impact from the tax credit in their market areas,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “Of those respondents, 20% said their market has already experienced some of this effect. Meanwhile, consumer confidence has risen and more households are saying that now is a good time to buy a home. All of these factors, along with the recent downward movements in mortgage rates, suggest that new-home sales will be stabilizing in the final quarter of the year.”

The three component indexes increased in September. The current single-family home sales index rose to 17, the sales expectations index surged to 30, and the traffic of prospective buyers index gained to 14.


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