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Home builder sentiment roars to a 12-year high as regulations get rolled back

Sentiment among home builders roared to a 12-year high in March, propelled by industry approval of early steps from President Donald Trump. The National Association of Home Builders’ closely-watched confidence index surged 6 points to 71, the highest level since June 2005. The index jumped sharply to a fresh cycle high in the month after the election, but then retreated slightly. Economists had forecast a 1-point increase to 66 in March. The index’s sub-categories also surged higher. The tracker of current sales conditions rose 7 points to 78, and the gauge of sales over the coming six months was up 5 points to 78. The measure of prospective buyer traffic leapt 8 points to 54, also the highest since mid-2005. Any reading over 50 signals improvement, and the traffic component is only rarely higher than that. It broke above the 50 line in December after the election for the first time since the bubble era. In a statement, NAHB noted its member approval for early steps from Trump, including an executive order that would roll back a clean-water rule that NAHB calls “burdensome.”

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