Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes edged higher for a third consecutive month in September, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI rose one point to 19 this month, its highest level since May of 2008.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

Two out of three of the HMI’s component indexes recorded gains in September.

The index gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 18, while the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose one point, to 17.

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