WASHINGTON -- U.S. homebuilders are feeling more confident about the housing market but don't think it is healthy yet. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to 49 in June, highest since January and up from 45 in May. Readings below 50 indicate that builders view sales conditions are poor rather than good.
The index has been stuck below 50 since January. The low numbers earlier this year reflected a bitter winter that chilled economic activity across much of the U.S. New home sales are running at about half the rate of a healthy housing market.
Still, builders are the most confident they've been since January about new single-family home sales over the next six months. They report seeing more potential buyers shopping for homes, though traffic remains modest.