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All 50 states show housing market improvement

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All 50 states are showing signs of a housing recovery, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).

For the sixth consecutive month, the number of improving housing markets continued to increase, totaling 259 metropolitan areas, up from 242 markets in January.

"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.

Twenty new metros were added to the list in February, while three dropped off the list for the month. Newly added metros include locations such as Rome, Ga., Fort Wayne, Ind., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Albuquerque, N.M. and Racine, Wis.

There is still room for improvement in metros that are not listed, notes Judson, who claims “a key factor slowing this progress is today’s overly stringent mortgage standards that are keeping qualified buyers on the sidelines.”

More than 70% of the 361 metros covered by the IMI are listed as improving this month, noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "That's a far cry from when we initiated this index with just 12 improving metros in September of 2011 for the purpose of highlighting places that didn't fit the mold of the national headlines.”

Crowe added that today the story is about how widespread the recovery has become as conditions steadily improve in markets nationwide.

"The continued expansion of improving housing markets in February should help convince those who have been considering a home purchase that now is the time to go forward with those plans," said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company. 

A complete list of all 259 metropolitan areas on the IMI can be found by clicking here.

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