US homebuilder sentiment unchanged in March but future outlook improving ahead of spring
By Derek Kravitz, AP Real Estate Writer | Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Homebuilders’ feelings about the current housing market haven’t changed from February. But many are growing more optimistic that sales could pick up in the coming months.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo said Monday that its builder sentiment index stayed at 28, the highest level since June 2007. The flat reading followed five straight increases.
Builders expressed more confidence in sales over the next six months. A separate gauge measuring that outlook rose in March for the sixth straight month, from 34 to 36.
Even with the brighter outlook, the industry has a long way to go. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn’t reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.
A key reason homebuilders are more optimistic is that they have seen more people express interest in buying a home. And growing interest has occurred alongside other improvements that suggest the troubled housing market could pick up after four weak years. Continue Reading >>>