WASHINGTON – Builder confidence rose two points in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This continues from an upward trend that began in the final quarter of 2006. The HMI improved from December’s upwardly revised 33 to 35 in January, its highest level since July 2006.

“Builders are responding to increased buyer interest at the end of 2006 and beginning of 2007,” said David Pressly, president of NAHB and a homebuilder from Statesville, NC. “This bodes well for the upcoming spring buying season.”

“Builders are starting to see that the worst is behind them and that buying conditions have improved to the point that greater optimism is warranted,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

Seiders added that the recent stabilization in homebuyer demand reflects reductions in mortgage interest rates since mid-year, lower energy prices, and strong increases in employment and household income. Read more.

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