Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have now moved within their own range of stable housing activity according to Freddie Mac's Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) along with 46 of the 100 largest metro areas. One state, Rhode Island, joined the list in July along with four metro areas, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Phoenix, and Albany.
MiMi monitors and measures the stability of housing markets in each of the states and in the top 100 metro markets by combining proprietary Freddie Mac data with current local market data to assess where each single-family housing market is relative to its own long-term stable range. Freddie Mac looks at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture to create a composite MiMi value for each market. MiMi also indicates how each market is trending, whether it is moving closer to, or further away from its stable range. A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity.
The national MiMi value stands at 81, the outer range of stable housing activity. The national index rose 0.93 percent from June to July and improved by 2.99 percent over the most recent three month period. The national index is up 6.17 percent on an annual basis and has rebounded by 37 percent since reaching an all-time low in October 2010. Despite the improvement the MiMi is significantly below its high of 121.7.
Among states the highest MiMi reading is 103 in the District of Columbia followed by North Dakota at 97, Montana and Hawaii at 93.7 and 93.5 respectively. California and Utah were tied for fifth position at 90. The top metropolitan areas are Fresno (98.9), Austin (96.4), Honolulu (94.1), and Salt Lake City and Los Angeles tied at (92.9).
The most improved states on a year-over-year basis were Florida (+14.35%), Oregon (+13.45%), Nevada (12.18%), Colorado (+11.65%), and Washington (+10.18%). On a month-over-month basis Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, Connecticut showed the most improvement with positive changes between 2.0 and 1.8 percent.
The most improving metro areas on an annual basis were all in Florida; Orlando (+18.27%), Cape Coral (+17.75%), Tampa (+15.99%), Palm Bay (+14.98%) and North Port (+14.77%). Orlando, Greenville, South Carolina; Cape Coral, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Florida were the most improved on a monthly basis with increases ranging from 2.60 percent down to 2.12 percent.
In July 49 of the 50 states and all of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 20 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 59 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.
Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said, "Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month and improving more than 6 percent from the same time last year. Florida has some of the most improving housing markets in the country, largely a reflection of more borrowers becoming current on their mortgage payments as the local employment picture improves and house prices rebound. The one area of the country that has been slow to respond has been the Northeast. However, we've started to see these housing markets turn around, especially in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. While many of the locals markets in the Northeast are still weak, they're steadily trending in the right direction and their pace of improvement is accelerating. Overall, the West remains especially strong, with many markets posting double-digit growth in their MiMi purchase applications indicator compared to a year ago and helping to keep the country on pace for the best year of home sales since 2007."