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Improving Home Market Tally Nears 250 with Room to Grow

To kick off 2013 with some optimism toward housing’s improving recovery, the number of metropolitan areas rose for a fifth consecutive month to 242 in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). 

The index reading of 242 is up from 201 markets listed as improving in December, and identifies metro areas that have shown improvements in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. 

For January, a total of 47 new metros were added to the let and six were dropped for the month. Among the newly added areas include Los Angeles, Calif.; Auburn, Ala.; Des Moines, Iowa; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; and Cleveland, Ohio. 

Having established the improving markets list in September 2011 to spotlight individual areas where housing was on the mend, there are currently 242 out of 361 metros nationwide that appear on the list today, notes NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg.

Rutenberg also mentions that housing has made significant steps toward improvement even as strict mortgage requirements drag the pace of recovery.

To compile its list, NAHB uses the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing price appreciation data from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Click here to view the complete IMI list for January.

Written by Jason Oliva