Eighty metropolitan statistical areas made it onto the National Association of Home Builders’ Improving Markets Index for August. This is the same number of markets that made it onto the index in June but four short of the July number.
“With nearly one quarter of all U.S. metros currently designated as improving housing markets, there is growing recognition among consumers that now is an opportune time to consider a home purchase,” stated Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at First American title Insurance Company.
Nine markets dropped off the list this month, unable to maintain their improving status after breaking at least a six-month run of improvement in employment growth, house appreciation, and single-family housing permit growth.
Five markets were newly categorized as improving in August, including Miami and Palm Bay, Florida; Hinesville, Georgia; Terre Haute, Indiana; and Lubbock, Texas.
The full list of improving markets this month included markets spread across 32 states and the District of Columbia. The markets “have distinctly different characteristics in terms of their economic and employment bases as well as other factors,” stated Barry Rutenberg, chairman of NAHB.
“One thing that most markets have in common, however, is the tight lending environment for both builders and buyers that continues to drag on their positive momentum,” Rutenberg noted.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe takes it as a good sign that a stable core of metros consistently shows up on the Improving Markets Index. He suggests it “adds to the growing evidence that the emerging housing recovery has a solid foundation on which to build as housing returns to its traditional role of driving economic growth.”
Markets that dropped off the index this month include Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Grand Junction, Colorado; Anderson, Indiana; Jackson, Michigan; Greenville, North Carolina; Hickory, North Carolina; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Jackson, Tennessee; and Brownsville, Texas.
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