Confidence among US homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.
The brighter sales outlook is the latest sign pointing to a sustained pickup in construction in coming months and comes as applications for permits to build single-family houses are at a five-year high.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday jumped to 59 this month from 56 in July. It was the fourth consecutive monthly gain.
A reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.
The last time the reading was above 59 was in November 2005, when it was 61. U.S. sales of new homes peaked in July that year. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.