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Low Rates Encourage Home Builders

With mortgage rates low and the economy showing signs of ticking up, home-builder confidence remained sturdy during November, said a canvass by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Bank.

The monthly Housing Market Index compiled by the two organizations was unchanged in October after a strong four-point jump in September to a level of 71.

“The basic story hasn't changed,” said David Seiders, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “As of the end of October, the average interest on a 30-year mortgage was 5.64 percent. That moved up slightly to 5.76 percent as of mid-November — still an exceptionally attractive rate. The result is builders' continued confidence in the momentum of this housing market.”

The monthly gauge of single-family home sales improved two points to a reading of 79, its highest level of the year.

The index gauging sales expectations for the next six months, and another gauging traffic of prospective buyers, each edged down two points.

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