updated 7/16/2009 3:03:51 PM ET 2009-07-16T19:03:51

The National Association of Home Builders says its housing market index climbed in July to the highest level in nearly a year, as low interest rates and other incentives helped builders woo homebuyers.

The Washington-based trade association said Thursday the index rose two points to 17, its highest reading since it was 17 in September.

Index readings lower than 50 indicate negative sentiment about the market. The last time it was above 50 was in April 2006.

The report reflects a survey of 484 residential developers nationwide, tracking builders' perceptions of market conditions.

The reading for current sales conditions rose three points to 17, while traffic by prospective buyers rose one point to 14. The sales expectations index over the next six months was unchanged at 26.

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Home equity type Today +/- Chart
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