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  Improving Market Index Grows to 30 Metro Areas in November
Improving Market Index Grows to 30 Metro Areas in November
Improving Market Index Grows to 30 Metro Areas in November

November 8, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

The list of improving metropolitan areas expanded again this month, increasing by seven additional metro areas to 30, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Market Index (IMI).

Utilizing data from almost 360 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), the index measures three independently collected or calculated indicators of improving economic health.

The three indicators are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price growth from Freddie Mac and single family housing growth from the Census Bureau. Each MSA must see improvement in all three indicators for at least a six month period after their respective trough before being categorized as improving.

For this month, the 30 MSAs that met the criteria include:

• Alexandria, LA
• Amarillo, TX
• Anchorage, AK
• Bismarck, ND
• Casper, WY
• Cheyenne, WY
• Corpus Christi, TX
• Davenport, IA
• Fairbanks, AK
• Fayetteville, NC
• Fort Collins, CO
• Hinesville, GA
• Houma, LA
• Jonesboro, AR
• Kankakee, IL
• Lima, OH
• McAllen, TX
• Midland, TX
• Monroe, LA
• New Orleans, LA
• Odessa, TX
• Pine Bluff, AR
• Pittsburgh, PA
• Sherman, TX
• Sumter, SC
• Tyler, TX
• Waco, TX
• Waterloo, IA
• Williamsport, PA
• Winston-Salem, NC

There were nine new MSAs added to the list this month while two were dropped. The nine new metro areas are Cheyenne, WY; Corpus Christi, TX; Davenport, IA; Fort Collins, CO; Hinesville, GA; Lima, OH; Monroe, LA; Tyler, TX; and Williamsport, PA.

The two MSAs that were dropped were Iowa City, IA, which posted a decline in their employment data, and Wichita Falls, KS, which experienced a decline in building permits.

“The November IMI remains heavily weighted by smaller cities, with Pittsburgh and New Orleans as the only major metros represented,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “This is indicative of the tough conditions that continue to prevail across much of the country, particularly in larger markets that have been hit hardest by job losses and foreclosures during the recession and that will take more time to heal. However, momentum is building in pockets of the country where energy and agriculture are the dominant industries and where consistent, measurable improvements in economic conditions are now becoming apparent.”

Texas continues to have the most metro areas on the list, increasing from seven last month to eight this month. Metro areas from Colorado, Georgia and Ohio all made the list for the first time.

Tags: NAHB, First American, Improving Market Index, employment growth, house price growth, single family housing growth