A reported rise in the traffic of prospective home buyers at model homes has kept builder confidence steady, the National Association of Home Builders reported today. The association's Housing Market Index, which gauges monthly builder sentiment, matched April's reading of 69. Scores above 50 indicate good conditions in the housing market, while scores below 50 indicate poor conditions. The HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that NAHB has been conducting for the last 19 years. Home builders are asked to rate current and expected sales of single-family homes as "good," "fair" or "poor." They are also asked to rate traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." "Demand remains strong and as mortgage interest rates begin to edge up, buyers continue to move into the marketplace at a healthy clip," said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn, a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Miss. "Robust job growth, solid home-price appreciation and fav...
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