The pace of improvement is picking up very quickly for the nation's home builders whose housing market index is up 4 points this month to 29. This is the second straight 4-point gain and the fifth gain in a row. Gains are evenly split between the three components -- current sales, future sales, buyer traffic -- and are evenly distributed by region.
The report calls the improvement that's underway the strongest yet of the recovery though the eye-catching gains in this report, which is a sentiment report, have yet to appear to the same degree in hard data. Competition from foreclosed properties as well as tight credit standards remain obstacles for the housing sector. Housing starts, where trends are improving, will be posted tomorrow while new home sales, which really haven't been gaining any steam, will be posted a week from Friday.