With Toll Brothers reporting a 2.3% increase in new home sales for April from a month earlier and an NAHB poll of home builders showing positive sentiment, the housing market appears to be gaining strength. Wall Street Journal staffer Steven Russolillo takes at why this strength and confidence appears to keep growing even in the face of impending challenges like a Fed rate increase. (Subscription required.)

More positives for the current market include rates remaining favorable, currently at 3.61%, and an apparent increase in affordability according to a measure by the National Association of Realtors:

The Realtors’ group, assuming a 20% down payment, measures a typical mortgage payment for the median priced home and compares it with median household incomes. By this measure, housing has actually been getting more affordable since the summer, a reflection of rising wages and low interest rates.

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