You can take the boy out of the economist, but you can't take the economist out of the boy. When the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs held a one-hour update June 20 on the state of the local new home market, who was among the 125 people in attendance? None other than Mike Anderson (right), who was named the Springs' interim city manager a week earlier. Anderson had been assistant city manager, served for several years as the Springs' budget director and, before joining city government, was a regional economist for the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments. Wearing his economist hat, he often was asked to speak to local business groups. So, what interest would Anderson have these days in a housing update? Plenty. Purchases of lumber, nails and other building materials generate millions of dollars a year in sales tax revenue for the city. As city officials start preparing their 2008 budget for release in the early fall, it won't hurt the interim city manager to get a handle on how quickly the new home market will recover from its current downturn.