U.S. homebuilders are feeling more confident in their sales prospects headed into next year, a sign that home construction and sales of newly built homes may pick up after stalling this summer.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose this month to 55, up two points from a revised reading of 53 in July.
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The latest reading is the highest since January, when it was 56.
Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.
Sales of new homes are running behind last year's pace.
But builders' view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each increased in the latest survey.