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Following today's better than expected housing numbers (See Housing Starts and Permits Surge Most in Seven Years) Doug Short at Advisor Perspectives pinged me with these comments.
Mish – I started tracking these for the first time today – complete historical data. These are two of the noisiest series of all time.Privately Owned Housing Starts
Take a look at the charts, especially the population-adjusted versions. You’ll see why you need at least a 3-month moving average to get an idea of the real trend direction and slope. And check out where the latest data points put us relative to the total series.
Starts: New Residential Housing Starts Surge in April
Permits: New Residential Building Permits Rise 10.1% in April
Bottom line: take the April data with a grain of salt … maybe a tablespoon full.
click on any chart for sharper image
Housing Starts as Percent of Population
The above from Doug Short
Here is a chart and comment I posted yesterday in Home Builders Optimistic Despite Decline in Traffic; Housing Market Index Declines.
NAHB Housing Market Index
If you ask the builders, sales conditions are very good with a score of 59. Sales expectations rose to an excellent score of 64. Meanwhile, actual lookers score a very poor 39.
Average it all together and you get the totally useless chart above.
Housing Market Index Components
Yesterday afternoon I asked the NAHB for the subcomponent data. Here is a chart I put together today from that data.
Note the actual traffic of prospective buyers vs. sales expectations six months out.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock