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Builders brimming with confidence

Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose sharply during early April, according to the National Association of Home Builders, helped by low interest rates and strong housing prices.

The builders' Housing Market Index climbed five points to a reading of 69, rebounding to its level of late 2003 and January 2004.

"Favorable interest rates and strong home-price appreciation definitely are still driving demand in today's housing market," said Bobby Rayburn, president of the National Association of Home Builders.

David Seiders, chief economist of the builders' trade group, commented. "We expect the demand for single-family homes to remain quite strong in coming months, despite the rise in long-term mortgage rates, as growth in employment and household income accelerates. Indeed, the economic land demographic foundations for housing are very solid, supporting both home sales and house prices. Theories of house price 'bubbles' are bound to be discredited in the process."

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