Sunday, January 17, 2010

NAHB Housing Market Index and Housing Starts

by Calculated Risk on 1/17/2010 06:22:00 PM

Since the NAHB Housing Market Index for January, and Housing Starts for December will both be released this week, here is a graph showing the relationship between the two series:

HMI and Starts Correlation Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph compares the NAHB HMI (left scale) with single family housing starts (right scale). This includes the December release for the HMI and the November data for single family starts.

This shows that the HMI and single family starts mostly move in the same direction - although there is plenty of noise month-to-month.

I know I'm a broken record, but residential investment is one of the best leading indicators for the economy, and the best indicators for RI are the NAHB HMI, housing starts, and new home sales. And these indicators are moving sideways (at best).

Note: The largest components of residential investment are new home construction, and home improvement. This includes brokers' commissions and some minor categories.