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Economy in Brief

NAHB Housing Market Index Down By One Half
by Tom Moeller September 18, 2006

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicated that the September Composite Housing Market Index fell to 30 from a slightly revised 33 in August. The latest level is down by more than one half from last year.

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 (-13.5% m/m, -55.6% y/y) and sales in the next six months (-9.8% m/m, -47.1% y/y) both fell sharply.

Traffic of prospective home buyers was stable m/m but down 55.1% y/y and was at the lowest since January, 1991.

Housing markets in all regions of the U.S. weakened this month. The index in the Northeast was down -58.8% y/y). In the Midwest the index fell 61.9% y/y and in the West fell 54.2% y/y. In the South the index fell 46.5%.

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

Visit the National Association of Home Builders.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders September August Sept. '05 2005 2004 2003
Composite Housing Market Index 30 33 65 67 68 64
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