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Economy in Brief

U.S. Home Builders Index Moves To Eight-Year High
by Tom Moeller  August 15, 2013

The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo rose another 3 points to 59 this month after a 5 point advance in July. The latest rise was to the highest level since November 2005 and outpaced expectations for an unchanged 57. The index of single-family home sales increased to 62, the highest since December 2005. The index of sales during the next six months up-ticked to 68. Realtors continued to realize traffic of prospective buyers at its highest level since late 2005.

Activity was mixed m/m across the country in August. The index for the Midwest rose to 64 from 62 and the figure for the South gained to 56 from 54. The figure for the Northeast was unchanged while in the West the series level slipped to 59 from 61. The NAHB figures are seasonally adjusted.

The NAHB has compiled the Housing Market Index since 1985. It reflects survey questions asking builders to rate market conditions as "good," "fair," "poor" or "very high" to "very low." The figure is thus a diffusion index with numerical results over 50 indicating a predominance of "good" readings. The weights assigned to the individual index components are .5920 for single family detached sales, present-time, .1358 for single family detached sales, next six months; and .2722 for traffic of prospective buyers. The results are included in Haver's SURVEYS database. The expectation figure is available in Haver's MMSAMER database.

National Association of Home Builders Aug Jul Jun Aug'12 2012 2011 2010
Composite Housing Market Index, SA (All Good=100) 59 56 51 37 34 16 16
 Single-Family Sales 62 60 55 38 36 16 16
 Single-Family Sales: Next Six Months 68 67 60 43 41 22 23
 Traffic of Prospective Buyers 45 45 40 30 27 13 12
Northeast 40 40 38 23 29 17 20
Midwest 64 62 55 41 36 14 14
South 56 54 52 35 34 18 17
West 59 61 50 40 38 15 13
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