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Builders boost confidence

Sales conditions, expectations more upbeat in February

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Builder confidence inched higher in February, according to a report released today by the National Association of Home Builders. The index gained two points to 17 this month, up from 15 in January, the report said. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is made up of three components the association uses to gauge total builder confidence. It asks for builders' impressions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months ("good", "fair" or "poor") and for the rate of prospective buyer traffic they've seen ("high to very high", "average" or "low to very low"). Two out of the three components increased month-to-month: views of current sales conditions rose two points to 17; views of sales expectation rose one point to 27; and views of buyer traffic stayed unchanged at 12, the report said. Confidence was also eight points higher than for the same month the year before, when it was 9. ...