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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Home Builder Sentiment Ticks Up in August on Surge in Expectations

Home builders are thinking just a little more optimistically about new home sales in August, according to the home builders sentiment index, released moments ago.

The National Association of Home Builders index, which goes from 1 to 100, ticked up from 17 in July to 18 in August. That marks a level not seen since June 2008.

However: Any number below 50 -- yes, 50 -- indicates that home builders are pessimistic about the appetite for new homes. So the fact that the August reading is the highest in 14 months tells you how lousy sentiment has been since then.

Home builders reported that current sales of new homes was largely unchanged in early August, though they saw a slight uptick in buyers walking through models and thinking about a new house. The biggest surge in the index came in expectations, which is an estimate of actually how many people expect to buy a new house in the next six months.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  August 17, 2009; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: homebuilder sentiment  
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"The cost of repairing many homes damaged by Rita increased dramatically because the dwellings suffered additional damage from rainstorms while their owners waited for funds, they said." No TARPS. Money for tarps in NYC. It's like waiting for health care and the chopper is grounded. Houston, we have a problem.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 17, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy it, considering the economy is only get worse.

Posted by: cavatellie | August 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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