US homebuilder sentiment rises in October as sales improve

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 18, 2016, file photo, a "Sold" sign rests in front of a house under construction, in Walpole, Mass. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo releases its October index of builder ... sentiment. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) (The Associated Press)

U.S. homebuilders' confidence eased this month after surging to the highest level in nearly a year in September.

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Even so, builders remain optimistic overall about sales growth in months ahead, a reflection of how steady job gains are leading more Americans to buy newly built homes.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday fell two points this month to 63 following a reading of 65 in September.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has held above 60 the past two months after hovering at 58 earlier this year.

Builders' view of current sales and a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers declined. Their outlook for sales over the next six months increased.