Nearly 2/3 of States on Improving Markets List
The number of metropolitan statistical arearn(MSA) housing markets designated as ‘improving” by the National Association ofrnHomebuilders (NAHB) declined from 84 in July to 80 this month. NAHB said that nine MSAs had fallen off ofrnthe NAHB/Wells Fargo Improving Markets Index (IMI) while five new cities hadrnbeen added. Cities on the list representrn32 states and the District of Columbia.</p
Inclusion on the IMI means that a marketrnhas shown improvement from its respective troughs in housing permits,rnemployment, and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The improvement is measured by data providedrnby the Census Bureau, Department of Labor Statistics, and Freddie Mac. </p
Miami and Palm Bay, Florida; Hinesville, Georgia; Terre Haute, Indiana; andrnLubbock, Texas were added to the list this month. The nine areas dropped were largely in thernsouth and, according to NAHB, fell from the list due to slight movements inrnhome prices. </p
“The list of improving housing markets in August includes metros acrossrnevery region of the country, all of which have distinctly differentrncharacteristics in terms of their economic and employment bases as well asrnother factors,” noted Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman. “One thing that mostrnmarkets have in common, however, is the tight lending environment for bothrnbuilders and buyers that continues to drag on their positive momentum.”</p
“The fact that we continue to see a strong core of metros showing up on thernimproving list each month adds to the growing evidence that the emergingrnhousing recovery has a solid foundation on which to build as housing returns tornits traditional role of driving economic growth,” observed NAHB Chief EconomistrnDavid Crowe.</p<p"With nearly onernquarter of all U.S. metros currently designated as improving housing markets,rnthere is growing recognition among consumers that now is an opportune time tornconsider a home purchase," added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at FirstrnAmerican Title Insurance Company.
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