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[NEW YORK] US homebuilder sentiment rose more than expected in June, hitting its highest level since September, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose to 59 from 54 in May, the group said in a statement. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted the index would rise to 56.
Readings above 50 indicate more builders view market conditions as favorable than poor. The index has not been below that level since June 2014.
The results indicate "a growing optimism among builders that housing will continue to strengthen in the months ahead," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
"At the same time, builders remain sensitive to consumers' ability to buy a new home."
The single-family home sales component rose by seven points to 65 while the gauge of single-family sales expectations for the next six months rose by six points to 69. Prospective buyer traffic rose by five points to 44.