A gauge of U.S. home-builder confidence rose in December to the highest level in more than 18 years, a sign of strong momentum for the housing sector heading into 2018.
The National Association of Home Builders on Monday said its housing-market index rose to a seasonally adjusted level of 74 in December. It was revised to 69 for November.
Continue Reading Below
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected this month's index to come in at 70.
The index measures builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes. Figures above 50 mean more builders see conditions as good rather than bad.
The trade group's chief economist, Robert Dietz, said a measure of home buyer traffic jumped, an indication of increasing housing demand.
"With low unemployment rates, favorable demographics and a tight supply of existing home inventory, we can expect continued upward movement of the single-family construction sector next year," Mr. Dietz said.
Home builders' confidence level had risen earlier this year to the highest levels since the housing bubble more than a decade ago. December's reading on confidence in the housing market is the highest since March, when the index reached a level of 71.
Existing-home sales increased 2% in October from a month earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported last month. The agency releases November existing-home sales data Wednesday.
Write to Sarah Chaney at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 18, 2017 10:14 ET (15:14 GMT)