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Economy in Brief

NAHB Housing Market Index Lowest Since 1991
by Tom Moeller July 19, 2006

The July Composite Housing Market Index at 39 was at its lowest level since late 1991. The index compiled by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) fell from 42 in June and compared to Consensus expectations for a reading of 41.

During the last twenty years there has been a 75% correlation between the y/y change in the Composite Index and the change in single family housing starts.

The sub indexes covering current sales of single family homes (-43.4% y/y) and sales in the next six months (-40.3% y/y) were both down sharply m/m.

An index of the traffic of prospective home buyers fell even further from a dried up June level and was down 50.9% y/y.

Housing markets around the country were weak in July. The index for the Northeast off 47.8% y/y, in the Midwest the index fell 56.3% y/y, out West it was down 42.0% y/y and in the South it fell 32.4% y/y.

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 July June July '05 2005 2004 2003
Composite Housing Market Index 39 42 70 67 68 64
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