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Economy in Brief

U.S. NAHB Housing Market Index Down, Prospects Gloomy
by Tom Moeller September 18, 2007

The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) fell 9.1% m/m to another lowest level since early 1991. The index fell to 20 in September, 49% below the high this past February. It was the seventh consecutive monthly decline.

The index fell across the country but was weakest in the West, down 18.2% m/m.

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 sub-index from the NAHB for current sales also fell 9.1%, a full 50% below the February high.

The sub-index covering prospective sales in the next six months dropped 16.1% m/m, 51% off the high.

Traffic of prospective home buyers was unchanged m/m, down only 45% from the February high.

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.

The statement from the latest FOMC meeting, where the target for the federal funds rate was cut by 50 basis points to 4 3/4 percent, is available here.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders  September August   Sept. '06  2006 2005 2004
Composite Housing Market Index 20  22 33 42 67 68
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