More housing markets are showing improvement in September than the previous month, according to data released Sept. 10 by the National Association of Home Builders.
A total of 99 metropolitan areas registered growth in housing permits, home prices and employment for six consecutive months, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) released this week. The list includes representatives from 33 states and the District of Columbia, and improves on the 80 markets that made the list in August.
Markets added to the list in September include such geographically diverse locations as Tucson, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Springfield, Ill.; Greenville, N.C.; and Bend, Ore.
“The number of improving housing markets grew by 19 in September as 68 metros retained their spots, 31 new metros were added and just 12 dropped off the list,” NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg said in a release. “This solid growth is an encouraging sign that housing continues on a slow but steady recovery path that is gradually advancing from one local market to the next.”
The IMI tracks three monthly data sets to generate the index: employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; house prices appreciation data from government-sponsored housing giant Freddie Mac; and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“More metros across the country are experiencing a sustained uptick in house prices, employment and new building activity as rising consumer confidence in local market conditions pushes more people to consider a new-home purchase,” said NAHB economist David Crowe.
A metropolitan area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.
A complete list of all 99 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in September, is available at www.nahb.org/imi.