Home/Mortgages/Improving Markets Index Hits Highest Level Ever

October 11, 2012 (Jeff Alan)

The list of improving metropolitan areas hit its highest level ever in October according to the NAHB/First American Improving Market Index (IMI), increasing from 99 in September to103 in October as 11 new areas joined the list while seven others were dropped.

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 103 MSAs that met the criteria include:

Fayetteville,AR Savannah,GA Joplin,MO Rapid City,SD
Jonesboro,AR Honolulu,HI Kansas City,MO Clarksville,TN
Little Rock,AR Ames,IA St. Joseph,MO Cleveland,TN
Phoenix,AZ Des Moines,IA Jackson,MS Knoxville,TN
Prescott,AZ Iowa City,IA Greenville,NC Abilene,TX
Tucson,AZ Sioux City,IA Jacksonville,NC Amarillo,TX
Yuma,AZ Boise City,ID Raleigh,NC Austin,TX
Hanford,CA Pocatello,ID Bismarck,ND College Station,TX
Sacramento,CA Springfield,IL Fargo,ND Dallas,TX
Santa Cruz,CA Columbus,IN Grand Forks,ND Houston,TX
Boulder,CO Evansville,IN Lincoln,NE Laredo,TX
Fort Collins,CO Muncie,IN Vineland,NJ Lubbock,TX
Greeley,CO Terre Haute,IN Syracuse,NY McAllen,TX
Washington,DC Houma,LA Utica,NY Midland,TX
Cape Coral,FL Lafayette,LA Canton,OH Odessa,TX
Crestview,FL Lake Charles,LA Cincinnati,OH San Angelo,TX
Deltona,FL Monroe,LA Columbus,OH San Antonio,TX
Miami,FL Barnstable Town,MA Sandusky,OH Victoria,TX
North Port,FL Bay City,MI Springfield,OH Waco,TX
Orlando,FL Detroit,MI Oklahoma City,OK St. George,UT
Palm Bay,FL Grand Rapids,MI Tulsa,OK Kennewick,WA
Pensacola,FL Jackson,MI Altoona,PA Mount Vernon,WA
Punta Gorda,FL Monroe,MI Erie,PA Huntington,WV
Sebastian,FL St. Cloud,MN Pittsburgh,PA Casper,WY
Tampa,FL Columbia,MO State College,PA Cheyenne,WY
Albany,GA Jefferson City,MO Greenville,SC  

There were 11 new MSAs added to the list this month while just seven were dropped. The 11 new metro areas added to the Index were Santa Cruz, CA, Albany, GA, Savannah, GA, Honolulu, HI, Pocatello, ID, Lake Charles, LA, Raleigh, NC, Cincinnati, OH, Oklahoma city, OK, State College, PA, and Abilene, TX,

Seven MSAs were dropped from the list in September, down from 12 in August, and include Jacksonville, FL, Lakeland, FL, Bloomington, IN, Lawton, OK, Bend, OR, Texarkana, TX, and Charlottesville, VA.

Barry Rutenberg, the Chairman of NAMB, stated, “While 11 new housing markets were designated as improving in October, 92 metros retained their spots on the IMI and just seven slipped from the list. This is an encouraging sign that the housing recovery is proceeding at a steady pace as firming prices and employment help spur new building activity, which in turn generates new jobs and more home sales.”

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