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Economy in Brief

U.S. NAHB Housing Market Index Low & Stable
by Tom Moeller March 17, 2008

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) reported that the March Composite Housing Market Index remained at the same low level as in February. The readings are more than two-thirds lower than the highs of 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 remained near the cycle's low which was down about three quarters from the 2004 high. Builders saw little improvement in single family home sales during the next six months and their index remained down by two-thirds from 2004.

The Home Builders' index improved slightly in the Southern region of the country but remained at or near the recent lows elsewhere.

Traffic of prospective home buyers was stable m/m following improvement during February.

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.

Fostering Sustainable Homeownership is Friday's speech by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and it can be found here.

Visit the National Association of Home Builders.

Nat'l Association of Home Builders March February   March '07 2007 2006 2005
Composite Housing Market Index 20 20 36 27 42 67
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