The National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index is a gauge of how builders see the current market for newly built single-family homes. The index is scored so that any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor. In October, the HMI rose three points to 64, which matches levels last seen at the end of the housing boom in 2005. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, says the improvement is further proof that the housing market is strengthening. “With October’s three-point uptick, builder confidence has been holding steady or increasing for five straight months,” Crowe said. “This upward momentum shows that our industry is strengthening at a gradual but consistent pace. 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.” In fact, builders are particularly optimistic about the market going forward. Among the three individual index components measuring sales expectations for the next six months, current condition, and buyer traffic, expectations for future sales saw the biggest increase, moving up seven points to 75. The component measuring current sales conditions jumped three points to 70, while buyer traffic was unchanged from the month before at 47. More here.