The National Association of Home Builders market index rose in its November report to 20, the highest level since May 2010 and the third consecutive monthly gain, beating market expectations. This may get November’s round of statistics off to a good start — housing starts for October will be reported tomorrow (November 17th) along with foreclosure data from the Mortgage Bankers Association for the 3rd quarter. Next week will see existing home sales and the Tuesday following Thanksgiving will see the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
The chart compares the NAHB index and the Census Bureau’s series of new single family home sales. Recently the two series have tracked closely, giving some hope for gains in new home sales based on the NAHB index data. The times when the two series show very different patterns were either recessions (1990-91 and 2008-9) or sharp movements in interest rates in the 1990s. Both clearly show the over whelming impact of the housing boom and bust.