Monday, March 16, 2009

Comparing the NAHB Housing Market Index and New Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 3/16/2009 06:06:00 PM

Here is a comparison of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index and new home sales from the Census Bureau. Since new home sales are released with a lag, the NAHB index provides a possible leading indicator for sales.

Note: the NAHB index released this morning was for a March survey. New Home sales for February will be released on March 25th - so the NAHB is released almost 6 weeks ahead of the corresponding sales numbers.

NAHB Housing Market Index and New Home Sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This shows that major tops and bottoms (green arrows) for the two series line up pretty well (usually within 1 month). However both series are noisy month to month, and there are plenty of head fakes in between the significant peaks and troughs. Also the new home sales data is revised significantly (this graph uses revised data).

Just something to watch going forward ...