NAHB Housing Market Index: Second Highest Reading Despite Decline

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) is a gauge of builder opinion on the relative level of current and future single-family home sales. It is a diffusion index, which means that a reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook on home sales; below 50 indicates a negative outlook.

The latest reading of 86 is down 4 from last month's 90 and at its second-highest level in the indicator's history.

Here's an introduction from this morning's blog update:

Ending a string of three successive months of record highs, builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell four points to 86 in December, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Despite the decline, this is still the second-highest reading in the history of the series after last month’s mark of 90.

Here is the historical series, which dates from 1985.

Housing Market Index

The HMI correlates fairly closely with broad measures of consumer confidence. Here is a pair of overlays with the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (through the previous month) and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index (through the current month).

HMI and Consumer Sentiment

HMI and Consumer Confidence

Disclosure: None.

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