Home/Mortgages/Twelve Areas Showing Signs of Improvement

September 13, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that twelve metropolitan areas in its new NAHB/First American Improving Market Index (IMI) have shown improvement for at least six months in three key economic areas.

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 12 MSAs that met the criteria include:

• Alexandria, LA
• Anchorage, AK
• Bangor, ME
• Bismarck, ND
• Casper, WY
• Fairbanks, AK
• Fayetteville, NC
• Houma, LA
• Midland, TX
• New Orleans, LA
• Pittsburgh, PA
• Waco, TX

“Despite the challenging conditions in the national economy and housing sector, there are areas throughout the country where we are seeing pockets of improvement” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “Housing conditions are local, and do not always reflect the national picture. We created this new index to shine a light on those housing markets across the country that have stabilized and have begun to show signs of recovery.”

Although this is a new report for NAHB, research shows that December of 2010 was the first month that any of the MSAs met the required criteria when 5 MSAs showed improvement for the first time. Last year at this time, NAHB said none of the MSAs would have shown improvement using the IMIs criteria.

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