56 Housing Markets Return to Normal Activity

Housing and economic activity show signs of recovering, as 56 of the 350 metro markets nationwide have returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of activity, according to a recent report

Data collected for the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) shows this improvement is a net gain of nine metros year over year. 

Topping the list of major metro markets on the LMI is Baton Rouge, La., showing a score that is 40% better than its last normal market level. Among other top-performing metros are Honolulu; Oklahoma City; Austin, Texas, and Houston; Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. LMI data for these 10 metros show market activity that now equals or exceeds previous norms. 

NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly said this gradual recovery correlates with “more sustainable levels of job growth,” which, he said in the report, will bring more buyers into the marketplace.

Smaller metros also show improvement. The markets of both Odessa and Midland, Texas, are now at double their strength prior to the recession, the report shows. 

However, single-family housing permits — only 43 percent of the way back to normal — lag behind the stabilization.

“Well over one-third of all markets are operating at a level of at least 90 percent of previous norms, and this bodes well for a continuing housing recovery in the year ahead,” Kurt Pfotenhauer said in the report. Pfotenhauer is the vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report.

To read the full report, click here

Written by Emily Study

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