Housing market improvement seen in 80 metropolitan areas
Areas in 31 states see improvement
Measurable and sustained housing market improvement was seen in 80 metropolitan areas across the U.S., according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).
The list of 80 is smaller than the list of 100 from May, but this latest list includes at least one representative from 31 different states (including the District of Columbia).
“Though today’s IMI reflects a decline in the number of improving markets from May, the list continues to show significant geographic diversity, with 31 states represented and roughly one quarter of all U.S. metros included,” NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg said in a statement.
The IMI tracks housing market health across the country by measuring three independent sets of data:
- Employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Home price appreciation from Freddie Mac.
- Single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is required to experience improvement in all three aspects for a minimum of six months to be included on the “improving” list.
A total of 28 new metropolitan areas joined the list of improving markets in the latest data, while 48 dropped from the list.
“The shifting of some markets off the IMI in June underscores the fragile nature of the housing recovery as well as the fact that many locations that previously made the list had recorded only marginal house price gains, which were easily wiped out by small downward changes,” NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said in a statement.
The mixed data does also provide a little optimism, too, Crowe noted.
“However, the fact that multiple new areas are showing up on the list each month is encouraging, and highlights the degree to which local economic and job market conditions are what drive individual housing markets,” he said.