This is up 3 points from a revised reading of 41 in March.
The sub-index gauging current sales conditions climbed 4 points to 48.
The index gauging future sales increased by one point to 53 - the highest level since February 2007. And, the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased by three points to 33.
Meanwhile, a look at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI showed that only the West had seen a decline of six points to 49.
"Builders are noting an increased sense of urgency among potential buyers as a result of thinning inventories of homes for sale, continuing affordable mortgage rates and strengthening local economies," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, in a press release.
“This is definitely an encouraging sign even amidst rising challenges with regard to the cost and availability of building materials, lots and labor.”
But mortgage borrowers finally seem to be playing a bigger role in the recovery.
The National Association of Home Builders' housing market index is a sentiment index in which respondents rate not just the housing market but also the economy in general.
The index draws on builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. It also includes builders' expectations of traffic of prospective buyers. A reading of 50 shows that an equal number of builders view the market as good or bad.
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