Confidence among the nation’s homebuilders jumped unexpectedly in December in anticipation of a stronger economy. A monthly reading of homebuilder sentiment rose 5 points to 74 which is the highest reading since 1999. Five is the line between positive and negative sentiment on the National Association of Homebuilders’ Index. Sentiment stood at 69 in December 2016. “Housing market conditions are improving partially because of new policies aimed at providing regulatory relief to the business community,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.