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Economy in Brief

U.S. NAHB Housing Market Index Fell To A Record Low
by Tom Moeller July 18, 2008

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) reported that its July Composite Housing Market Index fell to 16 from 18 in June. The latest level was the lowest in the series' history which extends back to 1984 and it was more than two-thirds lower than the high during 2004.

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 index for single-family detached homes also fell to a new series' low while builders' view of single-family home sales during the next six months fell to the series' low.

Except for a modest uptick in the Northeast, the builders' index in the country's regions continued to decline.

Traffic of prospective home buyers declined and hit a new low for the series.

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 Mortgage Crisis: Let Markets Work, But Compensate the Truly Needy from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders July June   July '07 2007 2006 2005
Composite Housing Market Index 16 18 24 27 42 67
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