Homebuilders continue to feed the bulls this month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Builder confidence for new single-family homes rose 2 points to 47, the highest level since April 2006. 

Housing Market Index December

Source: Author; data from NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

While this month's results are positive signs, the homebuilders' index has yet to cross above 50, which would mean optimism outweighs pessimism.

"Builders across the country are reporting some of the best sales conditions they've seen in more than five years, with more serious buyers coming forward and a shrinking number of vacant and foreclosed properties on the market," said Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman, in a statement today. However, he also noted that "today's overly stringent lending standards" are impeding families from qualifying for mortgages. 

Looking ahead, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe noted that he expects confidence to continue to trend upward in 2013. 

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