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Homebuilder confidence climbs to 10-year high

Builder confidence rose this month to a 10-year high, indicating the housing market could stay on strong footing in months ahead.

The index released Monday by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment climbed to 64 in October, the most lofty level since October 2005, from 61 last month.

The gauge's reading for September was revised lower from an initial 62.

The trade group has been conducting the monthly survey for 30 years, with any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

"The fact that builder confidence has held in the 60s since June is proof that the single-family housing market is making lasting gains as more serious buyers come forward," NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a builder from Blue Springs, Missouri, said in a statement. "There are still pockets of softness in some markets across the nation, and that they face challenges regarding the availability of lots and labor."

Confidence rose in three of four regions, with builders in the West signaling the best improvement in sentiment as confidence rose to 76 from 65. In the Midwest, confidence weakened to 59 from 61.

"Builder confidence has been holding steady or increasing for five straight months. This upward momentum shows that our industry is strengthening at a gradual but consistent pace," David Crowe, the NAHB's chief economist said in the statement. "With firm job creation, economic growth and the release of pent-up demand, we expect housing to keep moving forward as we start to close out 2015."

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