Sentiment among U.S. homebuilders rose in February for a second month. This exceeded all forecasts, as lower mortgage rates and a strong labor market help stabilize demand.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 62 from 58 amid broad improvement on gauges of sales, expectations and buyer traffic, data released Tuesday showed. “Ongoing reduction in mortgage rates in recent weeks coupled with continued strength in the job market are helping to fuel builder sentiment,” NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom-home builder from Louisiana, said in a statement. “In the aftermath of the fall slowdown, many builders are reporting positive expectations for the spring selling season.”