US HOMEBUILDER SENTIMENT RALLIES IN NOVEMBER

JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders’ confidence rebounded in November as both sales expectations and buyer traffic improved.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index rose to 58 this month, up from 54 in October. That puts the index just short of September’s reading of 59, which was the highest level since November 2005, shortly before the housing bubble burst.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

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Still, other indicators show that rising builder optimism has not necessarily been paired with a significant improvement in sales. Purchases of new homes were nearly flat in September, the Commerce Department reported. The pace of sales for newly built homes has improved a mere 1.7 percent so far this year compared to 2013, putting it below overall economic growth.

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