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Economy in Brief

U.S. NAHB Housing Market Index Remained Low, Down Hard Out West
by Tom Moeller January 16, 2008

For January, the Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) remained low versus a December reading that was revised up slightly.

The index was stable in the Northeast (-47.4 % y/y) but fell sharply in the West (-60.6% y/y). It rose slightly m/m in the South (-43.9 y/y and in the Midwest (-29.2% 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 Nationwide was stable m/m and remained down 76% from the 2004 high.

The sub-index covering prospective sales in the next six months ticked up slightly for the second month.

Traffic of prospective home buyers virtually dried up and remained 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 January December   Jan. '07 2007 2006 2005
Composite Housing Market Index 19 18 35 27 42 67
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