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July’s reading on home builder confidence from the National Association of Home Builders came in at 60 this week and was the highest reading since November 2005.

Most housing economists had estimated that the index would remain unchanged at a nine-month high from the prior month’s reading of 59.

Some analyst point to builder confidence and its returned to levels not seen since 2005 as a strong indicator that housing continues to improve at a steady pace. “Furthermore, many feel that as we head into the second half of 2015, we can expect a continued recovery in the housing market.

However, home builders still face a number of challenges, and they aren’t just limited to shortages of lots and labor, builder cost has been a concern and last month we saw to nationwide home builder in talks on consolidation to minimize this factor.

The Home Builders Market Index or (HMI) includes a survey of builders who rate their expectations for single-family home sales over the next six months. The details show both current and expected sales rising slightly, while buyer traffic dipped a point. The survey is not a reliable guide to new home sales or housing construction on a month-to-month basis, but it does add weight to the increasing pile of evidence suggesting that a real housing upswing is underway.

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