List of Improving Home Markets Declines, Still Overwhelming Majority

The list of improving home markets fell slightly in June, to 255 metropolitan areas across 49 states and Washington, D.C., down from the June reading of 263 improving markets. 

New additions to the list tracked by the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index include Cumberland, Maryland; Saginaw, Michigan; Farmington and Las Cruces, New Mexico; Kingston, New York; and Olympia, Washington. 

“Despite slight ups and downs in recent IMI levels, an overwhelming majority of U.S. metros — including those located in almost every state — remain solidly on the path to recovery even as the pace of their improvement is slowed by ongoing challenges related to the availability of credit, labor, lots and certain building materials,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Based on recent trends in home prices, housing permits and employment, the outlook for a continued housing expansion remains very positive for the remainder of 2013.”

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June’s tally marks the sixth straight month in which 70% or more of metro markets have qualified as improving markets; indicating an underlying economic improvement, according to NAHB. 

“The fact that more than two-thirds of all U.S. housing markets continue to be represented on the improving list should be a boon to consumer confidence at a time when many are looking to take advantage of today’s very favorable mortgage rates,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • The National of Association of Home Builders (NAHB) wants the best possible spin on this as possible. While one month is not a trend setter still this is a somewhat surprising result. After all this is the summer selling market when sales activities seeing higher sales resulting in higher values across the board. One would have expected that list would have gone up and that it would be up over 10% over March but not so.

    Here are the numbers for the last seven months from January to July, 2013: 242 (Jan), 259 (Feb), 274 (Mar), 273 (Apr), 258 (May), 263 (Jun), and 255 (Jul). While this is much, much better than the information for the last half of 2012, still to see the peak in February 2013 and the number of markets generally dropping since then is not a sign that things are on up beat.

    This measure is still indicating an unstable market showing signs of weakening.

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