There are now 35 states represented on the Improving Markets Index — tracked and reported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and First American Title Insurance.
To make the “improving market” list, a metropolitan area must show continuous improvement for six months in three areas:
- Housing permits (data from U.S. Census Bureau)
- Employment (data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports)
- Home prices (data from Freddie Mac reports)
This month’s index shows 101 metro area markets on the list in 35 states — a significant increase from the 12 markets that appeared on the list last September when the index was launched. Of the markets on the list from the previous month (March), 88 stayed steady, while 11 areas were dropped and 13 areas added.
“While housing markets across the country continue to struggle under the weight of overly tight lending conditions and other challenges, the April IMI indicates that at least 101 individual metros are showing measurable and consistent signs that they are headed in the right direction,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. “A total of 35 states are now represented on the list, with 10 states having four or more entries. This positive news is in line with what our builder members have observed regarding firming conditions and improved buyer interest in certain locations.”
It’s important to remember that the index focuses on improving markets, notes NAHB’s chief economist — as markets stabilize, their performance in the three areas tracked by the index will be less likely to improve from the previous month, which will drop them from the list.
For more on the Improving Markets Index, visit NAHB’s IMI page here.