Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rebounded in November as low interest rates and a strengthening job market helped increase sales, an industry report said Tuesday.
The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) said its builder-sentiment index rose to 58, matching the second-highest level since 2005, from 54 in October. Analysts expected a smaller November gain.
In the NAHB index, readings above 50 mean more respondents report good market conditions. The November report is just below the nine-year high of 59 hit in September.
“Growing confidence among consumers is what’s fueling this optimism among builders,” NAHB chairman Kevin Kelly said in a statement. “Members in many areas of the country continue to see increasing buyer traffic and signed contracts.”
Very low mortgage rates and unemployment at a six-year low are giving more Americans the confidence to purchase homes. However, wage growth has been weak, and property values have climbed, making home ownership too expensive for many first-time buyers.