The index, the product of a partnership between NAHB and First American, recognizes markets that have shown long-term improvement from their respective troughs in the areas of housing permits, home prices, and employment.
According to NAHB, 274 metros are now on the mend, a net gain of 15 since February. While 19 markets were dropped, 34 new areas were added, including Birmingham, Alabama; Santa Barbara, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Bloomington, Indiana.
For the second straight month, metros in all 50 states—as well as the District of Columbia—are represented on the list of improving markets. NAHB chairman Rick Judson said the index’s growth and diversity proves “[t]he expanding housing recovery is energizing communities nationwide by generating jobs and local tax revenues,” though he noted the housing market could serve as a greater catalyst for growth “if credit for building and buying homes was more readily available.”
NAHB chief economist David Crowe agreed that while the trend is positive, there are still obstacles in the way.
“With just over 75 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI now seen as improving, the housing market is on considerably more solid footing than it was at this time last year,” Crowe said. “While we expect this positive momentum to continue, it’s important to understand that many markets are just beginning the recovery process, and that numerous issues—from credit availability to the rising cost of building materials and emerging lot shortages—are slowing the pact of that advancement.”
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