Builder confidence up four points

Despite several indications suggesting the housing market is still struggling to recover, builder confidence improved in the month of October, rising four points from September, a new poll suggests.

According to the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index, builder confidence jumped to 18, the largest one-month gain in the index since the home buyer tax credit program in April 2010, which was designed to help encourage more people to buy homes.

David Crowe, chief economist for NAHB, said that the latest builder confidence survey indicates there are "pockets" of recovery in the real estate market, primarily driven by low interest rates that are house hunters are noticing. Nevertheless,, builders' sentiment about the housing industry is still cause for concern.

"Confidence remains quite low as builders continue to confront overly restrictive lending policies that are discouraging prospective buyers, problems with new-home appraisals and widespread uncertainty regarding federal support for homeownership," said Crowe.

Because it's more difficult for borrowers to obtain mortgages due to tight lending restrictions, it's particularly important for consumers to be aware of their credit histories, making sure they are free of inaccurate notations that may unfairly lower their credit scores.