The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index measures builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes on a scale where any number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good. In November, the index rose five points to 46. It was the seventh consecutive monthly gain and a significant improvement over last year’s reading of 19. Builder confidence is now at its highest level since May 2006. Barry Rutenberg, NAHB’s chairman, said builders are reporting increasing demand for new homes as inventories of foreclosed and distressed properties begin to shrink across the country. Components measuring current sales conditions and expectations for the next six months both experienced gains, as did all four regions of the country. More here.