It isn't always easy to gauge where the housing market is headed – especially in times of transition. So it's not surprising that some potential home buyers are feeling uncertain after last year's market volatility. Fortunately, though, if you're wondering where things will head from here, there are places to look for hints. One good gauge is home builders. If home builders are building homes, it's because they believe they can sell them. Which means, it's an encouraging sign when builders are active and optimistic about the market. Recently, the National Association of Home Builders' measure of builder confidence increased for the third straight month. That's one indication that builders are feeling more optimistic. Another can be found in new numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The data shows housing starts, building permits, and housing completions all rose in February. Each saw a significant increase month over month, with permits to build new single-family homes up 7.6 percent from the month before. That's a good sign that home builders are feeling better about the market, which is a good sign for potential buyers.
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