Improving Housing Markets Hits 7-Month Streak, Counts 274

The housing recovery continues to gain steam nationwide, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The list of improving U.S. housing markets expanded to include 274 metros in March, as recorded by NAHB’s First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).

“The expanding housing recovery is energizing communities nationwide by generating jobs and local tax revenues — and it could be an even more potent force for economic growth if credit for building and buying homes was more readily available,”  said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. 

The IMI identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing per mists, employment and home prices for at least six consecutive months. In March, 34 markets were added to the list, while 19 were dropped.

While March is the seventh straight month the index has expanded, it is also the second consecutive month in which every state is represented by at least one metro on the improving list, observed Judson.

“With just over 75 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI now seen as improving, the housing market is on considerably more solid footing than it was at this time last year,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

While positive momentum is expected to continue, says Crowe, it is important to understand that many markets are just beginning the recovery process. 

Additionally, numerous issues such as credit availability, the rising cost of building materials and emerging lot shortages, are slowing the pace of that advancement. 

Despite uncertainties, some say the road to recovery looks promising. 

“With the understanding that there are still a lot of uncertainties in the regulatory arena, it looks like we are finally seeing the beginning of what could be a broad and deep recover of the nation’s housing market,” added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.

Written by Jason Oliva

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