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Housing market improves

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(Read caption) This chart shows the annual change in the Housing Market Index over the past two decades. The market has been at or near historic lows since 2008, but it has recovered slightly.

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Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that all measures increased in December with the composite HMI index climbing to 21 while the "buyer traffic" index climbed from record lows to 19, the highest level seen since May 2008, as home builders continue to plod through the weakest activity seen in generations.

While all indicators made notable increases in November, it's important to note that conditions still remain epically distressed by historic standards.

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The new home market will likely not resume any significant form of healthy function until the considerable overhang of inventory is cleared.