Improving U.S. Housing Markets Jump to 242 on Builders' List

Improving U.S. Housing Markets Jump to 242 on Builders' ListThe number of metropolitan areas where housing markets are improving rose for a fifth consecutive month to 242 in January, according to an index from the National Association of Home Builders
This is up from 201 markets listed as improving in December on the group’s First American Improving Markets Index.
Metro areas are added to the list after showing improvement from their lows in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
A total of 47 new metros were added to the list and six were dropped from this month.
Newly added metros include such geographically diverse locations as Los Angeles, Calif.; Auburn, Ala.; Des Moines, Iowa; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; and Cleveland, Ohio.
“We created the improving markets list in September of 2011 to spotlight individual metros where — contrary to the national headlines — housing markets were on the mend,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Today, 242 out of 361 metros nationwide appear on that list, including representatives from almost every state in the country.”
The metro areas cover the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.
The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate the list of improving markets.
“Potential home buyers should be encouraged by the positive momentum in home prices, permitting and employment that is increasingly evident in not just isolated housing markets, but a broadening swath of the country,” added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.
The NAHB makes their monthly lists of improving housing markets available at www.nahb.org/imi.

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