Builder sentiment jumps for second-straight month

Home builders' sentiment about the state of housing has risen three points, a new report confirms.

The National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index, which gauges builder perception of sales expectations and construction activity, jumped to 20 in the month of November.

Commenting on the increase was Bob Nielsen, chairman of the NAHB, who said that the bump in confidence is an encouraging sign for the real estate market. However, problems persist.

"The overall measure remains quite low due to the many challenges that home building continues to face with regard to the high number of foreclosures, the difficulties of obtaining construction financing and accurate appraisals, and the restrictive lending environment that is discouraging potential buyers," he said.

Despite this, he added that the second consecutive monthly gain in the HMI is an indication that well-qualified buyers are slowly being drawn back into the housing market as home prices and mortgage rates remain low.

In order to take advantage of low-interest mortgages, consumers will need to make sure they have clean credit reports. Financial records that reveal a history of making payments on time are an indication to lenders that consumers seeking loans are trustworthy borrowers.