The housing market remains on its steady path to recovery, with one additional state, Rhode Island, entering the outer range of stable housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index numbers.
Four metro areas also entered their outer range of stable housing activity: Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Albany, New York.
Overall, the national MiMi value stands at 81, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity, while showing an improvement of 0.93% from June to July and a three-month improvement of 2.99%.
On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value improved 6.17%.
The national MiMi has rebounded 37% since its all-time low in October 2010, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.
“Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month and improving more than 6% from the same time last year,” said Freddie Mac’s Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer.
This isn't the only report showing steady recovery in the nation. The national foreclosure inventory declined by 27.9% and completed foreclosures declined by 24.4% since July 2014, according to the latest foreclosure report from CoreLogic (CLGX).
But there are bright spots, too. Capital Economics recently said that their reading of the market suggests that credit conditions are loosening, albeit also very gradually, and that a loosening of credit conditions will help the sluggish recovery
“As it becomes clearer that the housing and wider economic recoveries are strong enough to cope with a gradual rise in interest rates, lender caution should dissipate, helping to extend the recent recovery in the mortgage market,” says Andrew Hunter, assistant economist in a client note.
The new MiMi index reported that twenty-nine of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range. The top five states are the District of Columbia (103), North Dakota (97), Montana (93.7), Hawaii (93.5), and California and Utah tied at (90).
In addition, the most improving states month-over-month were Florida (2%), Colorado (1.99%), New Jersey (1.83%), Connecticut (1.80%) and Nevada (1.48%). On a yearly basis, the most improving states were Florida (14.35%), Oregon (13.45%), Nevada (12.18%), Colorado (11.65%) and Washington (10.18%).
“Florida has some of the most improving housing markets in the country, largely a reflection of more borrowers becoming current on their mortgage payments as the local employment picture improves and house prices rebound,” said Kiefer.
“The one area of the country that has been slow to respond has been the Northeast. However, we’ve started to see these housing markets turn around, especially in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine,” he added.
The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Orlando, Florida (2.6%), Greenville, South Carolina (2.55%), Cape Coral, Florida (2.51%), Tampa, Florida (2.19%) and Jacksonville, Florida (2.12%).
On a yearly basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Florida (+18.27%), Cape Coral, Florida (+17.75%), Tampa, Florida (+15.99%), Palm Bay, Florida (+14.98%) and North Port, Florida (+14.77%).
Looking at the rest of the country, Kiefer said that while many of the locals markets in the Northeast are still weak, they’re steadily trending in the right direction and their pace of improvement is accelerating.
“Overall, the West remains especially strong, with many markets posting double-digit growth in their MiMi purchase applications indicator compared to a year ago and helping to keep the country on pace for the best year of home sales since 2007,” he concluded.