Builders have a pretty good view of where the new home market is headed and, because of this, the National Association of Home Builders polls them each month to get their perspective. The survey has been conducted for 30 years and asks builders to rate buyer traffic, current sales conditions, and expectations for the next six months. In September, NAHB’s Housing Market Index rose another point and hit its highest level since October 2005. The index – which is measured on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor – increased to 62 for the month. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said the results indicate that the new home market should continue to improve through the end of the year. “NAHB is projecting about 1.1 million total housing starts this year,” Crowe said. “Today’s report is consistent with our forecast, and barring any unexpected jolts, we expect housing to keep moving forward at a steady, modest rate through the end of the year.” Of the three components, those measuring buyer traffic and current sales conditions each moved up slightly, while the index gauging expectations for the next six months dropped two points. More here.