Freddie Mac's Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) rose nationally this month for the third consecutive time. This, along with improving three month trends in thirty-four states and the District of Columbia and 37 of 50 metropolitan areas shows, the company said, that the U.S. housing market is continuing to stabilize.   The same time last year, 34 states plus the District of Columbia, and 41 of the top 50 metro areas were showing an improving three month trend.

Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist said, "Housing markets are stabilizing. Low mortgage rates help to keep affordability in-check across many markets. Labor markets are strengthening, but generally have room for improvement. We're keeping an eye on markets with deep ties to energy. We've noticed some deterioration on a month-over-month basis in some of these energy markets, especially smaller markets with less diversified economies. Overall MiMi has improved for the third consecutive month showing housing markets are getting back on track."

The MiMi combines Freddie Mac data with local information regarding home purchase mortgage applications, payment-to-income ratios, proportion of on-time mortgage payments and local employment data to create a composite value for each market.  This is used to show where each market stands relative to its own stable range of housing activity and how a market is trending, whether toward or away from its stable range.

The current MiMi stands at 74.1 nationally.  This indicates a weak housing market overall but is slightly improved (0.35 percent) from October to November and has a positive three month trend of 1.07 percent.  The MiMi is up 3.94 percent from a year earlier.  The peak for the MiMi was 122.5, reached in June 2006 and its low was 60.3 in September 2011.  Since then the housing market has rebounded by 23.9 percent.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia are in a stable range as are eight metropolitan areas.  The top five states are North Dakota (95.8) the District of Columbia (94.3), Montana (91.4), Wyoming (91.2), and Hawaii (89.1). . Top metro are San Antonio (89.5), Austin (87.0), Houston (85.3), Los Angeles (84.1) and Salt Lake City (83.6).

Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Maryland, and Delaware were the most improved states on a month-over-month basis with each gaining between 1.12 and 1.32 percent.   On an annual basis the strongest gains were in Nevada (+17.45%), Illinois (+10.15%), Rhode Island (9.65%) Colorado (+8.63%) and Ohio (+8.45%)

Metropolitan areas most improved month-over-month were Atlanta (+1.64), Detroit (+1.40%), Charlotte (+1.35%), Birmingham (+1.32%) and Cleveland (1.20%). On a year-over-year basis the top five were Las Vegas (+20.14%), Chicago (+12.37%), Denver (+10.68%), Miami, (+10.57%), and Providence (+9.45%).