The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) hit 57 in July, a rise of six points from June and the highest level since January of 2006, NAHB announced on July 16. Any reading above 50 indicates a growth situation for the industry. Bloomberg has this report: ("Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Increases More Than Forecast," by Jeanna Smialek).

"The confidence survey asks builders to characterize sales as good, fair or poor and to gauge prospective buyers' traffic. It also asks participants to assess the six-month outlook," Bloomberg explains. "All of the homebuilder survey's three components climbed. The group's gauge of the sales outlook for the next six months rose to 67 in July, the highest since October 2005, from 60 in the prior month."