List of Improving Housing Markets Rises to 274 in March

March 22nd, 2013 by DWM Magazine

The list of improving U.S. housing markets expanded for a seventh consecutive month in March to include 274 metros on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released yesterday. This total amounts to a net gain of 15 markets since February and includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The IMI identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Thirty-four new markets were added to the list and 19 were dropped from it this month. Notable additions include such diverse locations as Birmingham, Ala.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Bloomington, Ind.

“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,” says NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “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 pace of that advancement.”

“With the understanding that there are still a lot of uncertainties in the regulatory arena, it looks like we are finally seeing the beginning of what could be a broad and deep recover of the nation’s housing market,” adds Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co.

A complete list of all 274 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in March, is available on the NAHB website.

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