In a summer filled with excessive heat, a lack of rain and not much on TV there is a bit of good news from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The list of U.S. housing markets showing “measurable and sustained improvement” now includes 84 metropolitan areas, slightly higher than 80 a month ago. This comes from NAHB’s First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). The number includes representatives from 32 states plus the District of Columbia.
The index identifies metro areas that have shown improvement in number of housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. This IMI from July includes 73 metropolitan areas that held their spots on the list from June as well as 11 new markets such as Houston, Prescott, AZ, Springfield, MA and St. Cloud, MN
“The geographic diversity and growing number of metros on the latest IMI help spotlight the improvements we have begun to see in terms of home prices and job market conditions across certain parts of this country, which in turn are spurring more demand for new homes,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, who is a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “That said, our members continue to assert the need for more reasonable credit standards and more accurate appraisal methods to perpetuate this positive momentum.”
“The modest increase in the July IMI is encouraging because it indicates that individual housing markets continue to regain their footing despite some recent reports of weakening in the broader economy,” added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “This is evidence that the housing recovery is slowly but surely taking root, one market at a time.”
For a complete list of all 84 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in June visit the NAHB website.
This is encouraging news for home builders as well as consumers and offers a ray of hope that the economic recovery isn’t stalled.
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