By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Home builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes climbed in February for the fifth straight month to reach the highest level in more than four years, according to a survey released Wednesday. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose to 29 in February from 25 in January, meaning the gauge has more than doubled since September. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 26. Though that’s still far below the level considered “good” – the seasonally adjusted gauge needs a reading of 50 to do that, which hasn’t been the case since April 2006 – it does indicate improving sentiment for builders. The home-builder gauge tracks closely with single-family housing starts, with the January data from that series due for release from the Commerce Department on Thursday.
- Amy Hoak’s Home Economics: Big suppliers absent from Builders’ Show (marketwatch.com)