CNBC is reporting that the NAHB housing market index is up to a seven-month high of 55 in August from 53 in July. It was expected to remain at 53.

Current sales conditions and expectations for future sales each rose 2 points to 58 and 65. Traffic of prospective buyers increased 3 points to 42.

“As the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Delaware. “However, builders still face a number of challenges, including tight credit conditions for borrowers and shortages of finished lots and labor.”

Update: The major newswires are now following CNBC’s lead.

NAHB housing market index

NAHB housing market index

The US dollar is a bit higher on this report and the better start in US stocks.