Those are two key elements of the latest reading on a key index of home builders' confidence, which edged slightly higher in February because of a modest pickup in the number of prospective buyers, according a survey by The National Association of Home Builders/Well Fargo
The survey is comprised of three subindexes that measure homebuilders' view of current market conditions, their outlook for the next six months, and the level of buyer traffic.
The index that measures current buyer traffic showed the most significant improvement in February, rising to 19 from 14 in January. The survey of present housing market conditions increased one point to 20.
Housing has always been a major engine of economic growth, and despite the ongoing market correction, it will once again be that engine in the future. But in order for that to happen, Congress must follow up on its recently enacted economic stimulus program by passing legislation that will jump-start the housing market and keep the economy moving forward.