Homebuilder sentiment hits highest level since spring

By Alex Veiga Economic Indicators Associated Press

In this Thursday, June 1, 2017, photo, a builder works on the roof of a home under construction at a housing plan in Jackson Township, Butler County, Pa. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo releases its ... October index of builder sentiment. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) (AP)

U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have in months, looking past a recent slowdown in new home sales and the risk of rising labor and materials costs following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday rose four points to 68 this month. That's the highest reading since May.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has remained above 60 since September of 2016.

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According to the latest survey by FactSet, the index easily exceeded expectations for a reading of 64 among industry analysts.

Readings gauging builders' view of single-family home sales now and over the next six months rose from September. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers also rose.

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