A gauge of confidence among home builders remained at 60 in July, the strongest reading since late 2005, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data released Thursday. July's reading matched the consensus forecast from MarketWatch-polled economists. "This month's reading is in line with recent data showing stronger sales in both the new and existing home markets as well as continued job growth," said David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist. "However, builders still face a number of challenges, including shortages of lots and labor." NAHB previously estimated a June reading of 59. Readings above 50 signal that home-construction companies, generally, are optimistic about sales trends, and July marks the 13th consecutive month of above-50 readings.
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