January 11, 2012 (Jeff Alan)
The housing market showed further signs of stability as the list of improving metropolitan areas expanded again this month, increasing by 35 additional metro areas to 76, 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 76 MSAs that met the criteria include:
|San Jose,CA||Elkhart,IN||Bismarck,ND||College Station,TX|
|Boulder,CO||Indianapolis,IN||Grand Forks,ND||Corpus Christi,TX|
|New Haven,CT||New Orleans,LA||Oklahoma City,OK||Sherman,TX|
There were 35 new MSAs added to the list this month while five were dropped. The 35 new metro areas added to the Index were Florence, AL; Tuscaloosa, AL; Fayetteville, AR; Denver, CO; Greeley, CO; Bridgeport, CT; New Haven, CT; Cape Coral, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Punta Gorda, FL Honolulu, HI; Ames, IA; Des Moines, IA; Dubuque, IA; Elkhart, IN; Indianapolis, IN; Lafayette, IN; Lake Charles, LA; Worcester, MA; Grand Rapids, MI; Lansing, MI; Monroe, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Columbia, MO; Joplin, MO; Fargo, ND; Manchester, NH; Cincinnati, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Tulsa, OK; Corvallis, OR; Erie, PA; Philadelphia, PA; Chattanooga, TN; Clarksville, TN; Nashville, TN; College Station, TX; Dallas, TX; Victoria, TX; Madison, WI.
Only five MSAs were dropped from the list in January, down from nine in December, and include Anchorage, AK; Fort Wayne, IN.; Canton, OH; Scranton, PA; and Charleston, WV.
Bob Nielsen, the Chairman of NAMB, stated, “The fact that the list of improving housing markets nearly doubled this month shows that a significant, positive trend is developing, and is even more relevant when you consider the expanding geographic distribution of the list – which now includes 31 states and the District of Columbia. This trend could be even stronger if not for the numerous impediments that continue to slow a housing and economic recovery, including overly restrictive lending policies and the growing inventory of distressed properties in certain markets.”
Tags: NAHB, First American, Improving Market Index, employment growth, house price growth, single family housing growth