US homebuilder outlook near 4-year high

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(AP) WASHINGTON - Homebuilders' feelings about the current housing market haven't changed from February. But many are growing more optimistic that sales could pick up in the coming months.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo says its builder sentiment index was unchanged this month at 28, the highest level since June 2007. The flat reading followed five straight increases.

But builders said they are more hopeful about sales over the next six months. A separate gauge measuring that outlook rose for the sixth straight month, from 34 to 36.

Even with the brighter outlook, the industry has a long way to go. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn't reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.


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