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February sees increase in builder confidence

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Those who build homes expressed more confidence in sales of single-family residences.
Those who build homes expressed more confidence in sales of single-family residences.

A recent index shows that some people who use construction equipment may be feeling a little more secure about the housing market.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index increased to 17 in February, meaning that builders are a bit more confident when it comes to sales for new, single-family homes. The mark for February represents a gain of two points over January.

David Crowe, chief economist for the NAHB, said that builders are starting to realize some of the intended effects of the government's first-time homebuyers' tax credit.

"Meanwhile, another source of encouragement is the improving employment market, which is key to any sustainable economic or housing recovery," Crowe said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate came in at 9.7 percent in January. During the previous two months, the jobless rate sat at 10 percent.

What remains to be seen is the effect of the first-time homebuyers' tax credit ending at the end of April. Consumers have until then to sign a contract for a new home and have until June 30 to finish the deal.
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