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Economy in Brief
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Remain Little Changed; Variable Rate Apps Surge
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index slipped 0.8% last week (-12.4% y/y)...
La Dolce Vita? Italian Confidence Bumps Higher
Italian business and consumer confidence moved higher in March...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Significantly
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for March strengthened 8.2% (30.7% y/y) to 125.6...
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
by Tom Moeller April 18, 2016
The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo held at 58 for the third straight month. It remained down from the October high of 65. The NAHB figures are seasonally adjusted. During the last ten years, there has been an 81% correlation between the y/y change in the home builders index and the y/y change in single-family housing starts.
The index of single-family home sales declined 3.1% to 63 (+3.3% y/y), its lowest point since May. Offsetting this decline was 1.6% improvement to 62 (-1.6% y/y) in the index of expected sales during the next six months. The index remained down, however, from its high of 75, six months ago.
Home builders reported that their traffic index improved 2.3% to 44 (10.0% y/y) which returned it to January's level.
Movement in the Composite Index reflected sharp divergence in the regional measures. In the West, the index of activity held steady for a second month (+21.8% y/y), while the index for the South also was stable both m/m and y/y. The reading for the Midwest declined 5.1% (+1.8% y/y), but the index for the Northeast dropped 10.9% (-4.7% y/y).
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 expectations figure is available in Haver's MMSAMER database.
|National Association of Home Builders||Apr||Mar||Feb||Apr'15||2015||2014||2013|
|Composite Housing Market Index, SA (All Good=100)||58||58||58||56||59||52||51|
|Single-Family Sales: Present||63||65||65||61||64||56||55|
|Single-Family Sales: Next Six Months||62||61||64||63||66||61||58|
|Traffic of Prospective Buyers||44||43||39||40||43||39||39|