NAHB Housing Market Index: "Home Builder Sentiment Strong at Year’s End"

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 84 is up 1 from last month's 83.

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

Despite inflation concerns and ongoing production bottlenecks, home builder confidence edged higher for the fourth consecutive month on strong consumer demand and limited existing inventory. Builder sentiment in the market for newly built single-family homes moved one point higher to 84 in December, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This ties the highest reading of the year that was posted in February.

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).