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Homebuilder sentiment index rises in August

NEW YORK — The National Association of Home Builders says its housing market index rose in August to the highest point in more than a year.

The Washington-based trade association said Monday the index rose one point to 18, a level not seen since June 2008.

The reading for current sales conditions was unchanged at 16, while traffic by prospective buyers rose three points to 16. The index for expected sales over the next six months jumped four points to 30, signaling that builders think the worst of the housing slump is over.

The report reflects a survey of 474 residential developers nationwide.

Index readings lower than 50 indicate negative sentiment about the market. The last time it was above 50 was in April 2006.