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First Cut: NAHB Housing Market Index shows sales and expectations remain high, buyer traffic strongest in 10 months

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for August reached 66, its highest since 66 in May when the housing market began to revive from falling mortgage interest rates.

The index components reflected continued strong conditions. Sales of single-family homes was 73, the highest since 74 in October 2018. Expectations for single-family home sales were little changed at 70 in August after 71 in July. Buyer traffic inched up to 50 in August from 48 in July and was its highest since 53 in October 2018.

For August to-date, the average Freddie Mac rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.60%, its lowest since 3.47% in October 2016. The steep decline in mortgage rates in the past few months has provided consumer with an incentive to buy a new home now rather than risk higher prices and higher rates later. Builders are feeling optimistic about the present and the next few months, at least.

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