Housing Stabilization? PUH-leeze

I am listening to some pundits on TV. They are so positive about the Homebuilders Sentiment Index that I immediately click over to NAHB.org.

Their braggadicio about the "Stabilization in the home builders Index" was so over the top, I expected to see an enormous change. Instead, this is what greets me:




Stabilization? You mean after 8 consecutive months  of free fall, we see a tiny blip up? I fail to see what these spinmeisters are so breathless about . . .

Here’s an excerpt from NAHB:

October 17, 2006 – Breaking a string of eight consecutive monthly declines, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which gauges builder sentiment in the single-family housing market, posted a modest one-point gain to stabilize at a level of 31 in October.

“While the index remains at a low level, the single-point increase from September’s reading suggests that builder attitudes for new-home sales may be stabilizing,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “This is attributable to several key economic factors: mortgage interest rates have fallen substantially from their summer highs, energy prices have dropped dramatically from their recent peaks, consumer sentiment has posted a strong rebound and the job market is doing reasonably well.”

Why bother with reality when fantasy is so much more amusing?


UPDATE: October 18, 2006 11:19am

Kevin over at Minyanville has a similar take this morning:

NAHB Housing Index Shows Dramatic, Imperceptible Surge   

-"US housing bottoming out!," screamed one headline.   
-"Builder Confidence Stabilizes in October" the NAHB

-A separate article noted the positive nature of the NAHB
-The index was up just one point to 31,
but this is a positive
considering the index has fallen in 13 of the past 16 weeks.





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