Builders are more optimistic about the market for newly built single-family homes than at any time since November 2005, according to the most recent National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. The index – which measures builders’ confidence on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor – rose for the fourth straight month, reaching a level of 59. Kevin Kelly, NAHB’s chairman, said, since early summer, builders in many markets across the nation have been reporting that buyer interest and traffic has picked up, which is a positive sign that the housing market is moving in the right direction. In fact, the index components measuring current sales conditions and buyer traffic both rose five points from the month before. Regionally, three-month moving averages show the Midwest up 5 points, the South up 4 points, a 3-point gain in the Northeast, and a 2-point increase in the West. All regions, except the Northeast, scored higher than 50, with the Midwest leading with a 59. More here.