The list of housing markets demonstrating
improvement on a trio of housing-related measures took a big jump in January,
rising to 76 cities from 41 in December.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving
Markets Index (IMI) highlights metropolitan areas that have shown a consistent
improvement in housing permits, employment, and house prices.
A metropolitan area must see improvement
on each of three data sets used by IMI; the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(employment), Freddie Mac (home prices), and the U.S. Census Bureau (permits)
for a minimum of six months following its respective trough to be included on
The new cities were geographically
dispersed; cities in 22 states made their initial appearance in January. Thirty-one states and the District of
Columbia are now represented by at least one metro area. Five cities in five states fell off the list
in the last month.
relatively small metropolitan areas continue to dominate the list of improving
housing markets, it's important to note that several major metros in diverse
parts of the country have now joined the field as well - including such metros
as Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Nashville and Philadelphia,"
added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "This is an encouraging sign that
gradually strengthening economic conditions are starting to take hold across a
broader swath of America."
New entrants to the list in January include the following (listed alphabetically by state):
New Haven, CT
Cape Coral, FL
Punta Gorda, FL
Des Moines, IA
Lake Charles, LA
Grand Rapids, MI
Oklahoma City, OK
College Station, TX