The second release of the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index for October shows nearly a doubling in the number of metropolitan areas judged to be improving. The inaugural release in September showed 12 metro areas on the list and the October release added 12 more metro areas and dropped one (Bangor Maine) for a new IMI level of 23.
There's a housing slump in places where jobs are being added. Home construction is off the bottom and house prices have begun to improve. These three elements are the variables used to construct IMI each month.
In order to make the list, a metropolitan area must see at least a six month improvement from a recent trough in single-family housing permits, employment and home prices.
The universe of potential candidates comes from the roughly 360 metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. Submarkets within MSAs could also be recovering but there is insufficient data at a level lower than MSA to make that determination. IMI simply makes the point that there can be places above average when the national average remains stalled.
- Courtesy of NAHB