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Economy in Brief

NAHB Housing Market Index Unchanged at a Low Level
by Tom Moeller February 16, 2006

In February, the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Composite Housing Market Index remained at the depressed level of 57 for the third straight month. The figure compares to a high of 72 posted last June.

During the last twenty years there has been an 82% correlation between the y/y change in the annual composite index and the change in single family housing starts and there has been a 75% correlation between the current sales index and new single family home sales.

The January index for current sales of single family homes was stable at 62, down 20% from the January '05 level of 77. The index for sales in six months slipped to 65 from an upwardly revised 66 during January, but it averaged 75 last year.

Traffic of prospective home buyers remained quite depressed at an index level of 40, the lowest level since April 2003.

The NAHB index is a diffusion index based on a survey of builders. Readings above 50 signal that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Visit the National Association of Home Builders.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders Feb Jan  Feb '05 2005 2004 2003
Composite Housing Market Index 57 57 69 67 68 64
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