National home builder confidence nears pre-recession levels in September

Housing construction
Housing construction

U.S. home builder confidence was back in spades during September, close to levels previously seen in 2005 before the Great Recession.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a recently released housing market index from the National Association of Home Builders showed confidence jumped six points to 65 between August and September. Any rating over 50 means home builders see the market as healthy.

That rate matches the previous post-recession peak seen in October 2015, and is also the highest it’s been since the confidence survey read 68 points in October 2005.

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“With the inventory of new and existing homes remaining tight, builders are confident that if they can build more homes they can sell them,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement.

Though the index doesn’t strictly correlate to construction activity, the Journal reported, it could indicate a boost in construction starts during the fall, as builders are more willing to pick up projects when confidence is high.

An increase in housing production would inject supply into a tightening market, where sales of new single-family homes recently hit its highest level since October 2007. [Wall Street Journal]Sean Stewart-Muniz