Home/Mortgages/Improving Markets Index Jumps to 125

November 29, 2012 (Jeff Alan)

The list of improving metropolitan areas expanded by 22 markets in November, its highest level ever, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Market Index (IMI) as the number of metropolitan areas increased from 103 in October to125 in November .

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 125 MSAs that met the criteria include:

Mobile, AL Honolulu, HI Joplin, MO Clarksville, TN
Fayetteville, AR Ames, IA Kansas City, MO Cleveland, TN
Jonesboro, AR Cedar Rapids, IA St. Joseph, MO Knoxville, TN
Little Rock, AR Des Moines, IA Jackson, MS Abilene, TX
Phoenix, AZ Iowa City, IA Charlotte, NC Amarillo, TX
Prescott, AZ Sioux City, IA Jacksonville, NC Austin, TX
Tucson, AZ Boise City,I D Raleigh, NC Beaumont, TX
Yuma, AZ Lewiston, ID Bismarck, ND Corpus Christi, TX
Modesto, CA Pocatello, ID Fargo, ND Dallas, TX
Sacramento, CA Springfield, IL Grand Forks, ND Houston, TX
San Diego, CA Columbus, IN Lincoln, NE Laredo, TX
Santa Cruz, CA Evansville, IN Omaha, NE Lubbock, TX
Visalia, CA Muncie, IN Vineland, NJ McAllen, TX
Boulder, CO Louisville, KY Syracuse, NY Midland, TX
Fort Collins, CO Houma, LA Utica, NY Odessa, TX
Greeley, CO Lafayette, LA Canton, OH San Angelo, TX
Washington, DC Lake Charles, LA Cincinnati, OH San Antonio, TX
Cape Coral, FL Monroe, LA Columbus, OH Victoria, TX
Crestview, FL New Orleans, LA Dayton, OH Waco, TX
Deltona, FL Shreveport, LA Sandusky, OH Provo, UT
Miami, FL Barnstable Town, MA Springfield, OH Salt Lake City, UT
Naples, FL Bay City, MI Youngstown, OH St. George, UT
North Port, FL Detroit, MI Oklahoma City, OK Blacksburg, VA
Ocala, FL Grand Rapids, MI Tulsa, OK Lynchburg, VA
Palm Bay, FL Holland, MI Corvallis, OR Kennewick, WA
Pensacola, FL Jackson, MI Altoona, PA Mount Vernon, WA
Punta Gorda, FL Kalamazoo, MI Pittsburgh, PA Appleton, WI
Sebastian, FL Monroe, MI State College, PA Charleston, WV
Tampa, FL St. Cloud, MN Anderson, SC Huntington, WV
Albany, GA Columbia, MO Greenville, SC Casper, WY
Gainesville, GA Jefferson City, MO Rapid City, SD Cheyenne, WY
Savannah, GA      

There were 28 new MSAs added to the list this month while just six were dropped. The 28 new metro areas added to the Index were Mobile, AL, Modesto, CA, San Diego, CA, Visalia, CA, Naples, FL, Ocala, FL, Gainesville, GA, Cedar Rapids, IA, Lewiston, ID, Louisville, KY, New Orleans, LA, Shreveport, LA, Holland, MI, Kalamazoo, MI, Charlotte, NC, Omaha, NE, Dayton, OH, Youngstown, OH, Corvallis, OR, Anderson, SC, Beaumont, TX, Corpus Christi, TX, Provo, UT, Salt Lake City, UT, Blacksburg, VA, Lynchburg, VA, Appleton, WI and Charleston, WV.

Six MSAs were dropped from the list in November, down from seven in October, and include Hanford, CA, Orlando, FL, Terre Haute, IN, Greenville, NC, Erie, PA, and College Station, TX.

Barry Rutenberg, the Chairman of NAMB, stated, “Not only did 22 additional markets qualify for the improving list in November, but the geographic distribution of included metros expanded from 33 states to 38 (plus the District of Columbia), while 97 out of 103 markets retained their spots on the list from the previous month. This shows that a housing recovery is firmly taking root and helping generate needed jobs and economic growth across much of the country — though we know that this expansion could be even stronger were it not for ongoing challenges including overly tight lending conditions and difficult appraisals.”

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