You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Confidence steady among builders

LOS ANGELES — Confidence among US homebuilders held steady in January at the highest level in nearly seven years, but builders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their prospects for sales over the next six months.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday held at 47, the same as in December and the highest reading since April 2006.

Continue reading below

Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. The last time the index was at that level or higher was in April 2006 when the reading was 51.

It began trending higher in October 2011, when it stood
at 17.

The latest index comes at a time of improving fortunes for homebuilders, many of which have seen sales improve over the past year amid the best market for newly built homes since the housing boom.

Stable job gains, record-low mortgage rates, and a tight supply of new and previously occupied homes available for sale have helped fuel home sales and drive prices higher, albeit from very low levels.

Even so, homebuilders’ confidence remains restrained by uncertainty over how Washington lawmakers will resolve budget and tax issues, said Barry Rutenberg, the NAHB’s chairman.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.