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Homebuilder Optimism Hits Record, Fueled by Low Mortgage Rates

  • Index surges to highest level in 35 years of the survey
  • Challenges loom with higher lumber costs hitting profit
Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

U.S. homebuilder optimism rose to a record in September, with low mortgage rates driving a housing boom that has boosted the pandemic economy.

A gauge of builder sentiment jumped five points from a month earlier to 83, beating estimates and hitting the highest level in 35 years of the survey, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Market Index. It was 78 last month, which matched the previous record from 1998.