I spoke with Hugh Moore of Guerite Advisors over the weekend. Hugh has sent this chart over, and I found it worth sharing (I'll have some more info later this week on Housing).
Note that the NAHB Housing Index is a measure of Builder sentiment; it measures a combination of sales, traffic and new permits (NAHB site is down, I'll post the exact components later).
What happens when we overlay the Housing Index against Real Personal Consumption? It turns out that, going back to 1985 anyway, it operates as a leading indicator:
click to enlarge
Graphic courtesy of Guerite Advisors
I would like to see this going back further than 1985, but it certainly raises some interesting issues . . .