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Economy in Brief

NAHB Housing Market Index Improved Again
by Tom Moeller November 16, 2006

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) reported that the November Composite Housing Market Index rose to 33 from 31 in October and from 31 in September. While off its low, the index remained down by roughly one half from last year.

During the last twenty years there has been a 76% correlation between the y/y change in the Composite Index and the change in single family housing starts.

The improvement again was led a sharp gain in the sub-index covering prospective sales in the next six months (9.5% m/m, -29.2% y/y). The sub-index for current sales rose just slightly m/m (-50.7% y/y).

Traffic of prospective home buyers also rose moderately to the highest level since July

Improvement by region was mixed. The housing market indexes for the Northeast (-39.3% y/y) and the South (-41.2% y/y) improved m/m but in the Midwest the index fell (-56.8%) as it did out West (-58.0% y/y).

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.

Economic Freedom, Human Freedom, Political Freedom, a 1991 speech by the late Milton Friedman, is available here.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders November October Nov. '05 2005 2004 2003
Composite Housing Market Index 33 31 61 67 68 64
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