WASHINGTON - The number of improving housing markets continued to expand for a sixth consecutive month to a total of 259 metropolitan areas on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for February. This is up from 242 markets listed as improving in January, and includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of the Columbia.
The IMI identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their
respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for
at least six consecutive months. A total of 20 new metros were added to
the list and three were dropped from it this month. Newly added metros
include such geographically diverse locations as Rome, Ga.; Fort Wayne,
Ind.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Racine, Wis.
"The fact that all 50 states now have at least one metro on the
improving list shows that the housing recovery has substantial momentum
and continues to expand from one market to the next," said 2013 NAHB
Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.
The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that
are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures
three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top
improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are
analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing
permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest
available data from these sources to generate a list of improving
markets. A metropolitan area must see improvement in all three measures
for at least six consecutive months following those measures' respective
troughs before being included on the improving markets list.
A complete list of all 259 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and
separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in
February, is available at www.nahb.org/imi.
The National Association of Home Builders is a
Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000
members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction,
property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building
product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light