While the housing recovery remains at a snail’s pace, it is still improving, with the markets that exhibit stronger local economies and favorable demographics on an even faster pace of improvement.

Freddie Mac released the June numbers for the Multi-Indicator Market Index, which showed a weak market, improving only .04% from May to June. However, on a year-over-year basis, the U.S. housing market has improved by 7.67%.  

“As we see the economy slowly normalizing we’re starting to see its effects in the housing market as well, albeit very slowly. The good news is the big housing markets, of which some were also the hardest hit, continue to improve,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said.  

“For example, from the same time last year, California is up 12% and every market MiMi tracks in the state is improving. Meanwhile, Florida is up nearly 15% and Illinois is up nearly 13% over the past year,”

So here is Freddie’s list of the top 5 most improved metros that are faring better than the rest of the nation. (All charts are from Freddie Mac and compare the metro to the nation; click for larger image)

5. Miami


Miami has steadily improved over the year and ranks 32nd, increasing two spots from last month and increasing 11 spots from one year ago. A lot of Miami’s improvement is due to the 14.35% increase in the current on mortgage indicator over the past three months.  

4. Chicago


While Chicago stayed in the 44th spot this month, it has increased three spots from one year ago. A 14.89% increase in the metro’s employment indicator over the past three months is a main driver behind the improvement.

3. San Jose


San Jose’s improvement is largely due to the 4.32% jump in its employment indicator over the past three months, moving up two spots to 16 and up 3 spots from one year ago.

2. Riverside


Although the Riverside market is weak, it is improving, moving up two spots from last month to 24. This is up 16 spots from one year ago. Like the other metros, this is due to the metro’s 11.93% increase in the employment indicator over the past three months.  

1. Las Vegas  


Despite being ranked 50 out of the top 50 metros, Las Vegas is 92.8% above its all-time low of 25 reached in November 2010. A lot of the metro’s improvement is due to the 12.54% increase in the employment indicator over the past three months. The city ranks 50th and is unchanged since last year. 

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