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Economy in Brief

U.S. NAHB Housing Market Index Unchanged
by Tom Moeller December 18, 2007

The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) remained unchanged m/m in December at the lowest level since early 1991. The index was 49% below the high this past February.

In December, the index fell sharply m/m in the Northeast (-48.6% y/y, was unchanged out West (-43.8% y/y) and rose in the South (-46.2 y/y and in the Midwest (-31.8% y/y).

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 improved 5.6% in December but remained down 76% from the 2004 high.

The sub-index covering prospective sales in the next six months ticked up slightly m/m but also remained two thirds lower than the 2005 peak.

Traffic of prospective home buyers virtually dried up and fell 17.6% m/m, down three quarters 2005 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.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders  December November   Dec. '06 2007 2006 2005
Composite Housing Market Index 19 19 33 27 42 67
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