A gauge of confidence among home builders pulled back this month from a nine-year high in September, falling five points to 54, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data released Thursday. Readings above 50 signal that builders, generally, are optimistic about sales trends. October is the first time in five months that the gauge has dropped. "However, historically low mortgage interest rates, steady job gains, and significant pent up demand all point to continued growth of the housing market," said David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the gauge to remain at 59 in October. Also Thursday, NAHB reported that its barometer of builders' views on present sales of single-family homes fell six points to 57 in October. Meanwhile, a barometer of builders' views on upcoming sales fell three points to 64. And a gauge of prospective-buyer traffic dropped six points to 41.
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