Housing markets improved in 80 metropolitan statistical areas over the last six months, according to the National Association of Home Builders and First American ($25.27 0%).
The NAHB and First American produce the Improving Markets Index, which identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
Five new improving metros were added to the latest list: Miami and Palm Bay, Fla.; Hinesville, Ga.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lubbock, Texas.
"The list of improving housing markets in August includes metros across every region of the country, all of which have distinctly different characteristics in terms of their economic and employment bases as well as other factors," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "One thing that most markets have in common, however, is the tight lending environment for both builders and buyers that continues to drag on their positive momentum."
The index measures three sets of independent monthly data — employment growth via Department of Labor statistics, house price appreciation, according to Freddie Mac figures and single-family housing permits from the U.S. Census Bureau — to get a mark on the top improving MSAs.
A complete list of all 80 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in August, is available here.
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