The number of improving housing markets continued to expand for a third consecutive month in November, rising from 23 to 30 on the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released this week. The list dropped two metros and added nine new ones – Cheyenne, Wyo.; Corpus Christi, Texas.; Davenport, Iowa.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Hinesville, Ga.; Lima, Ohio; Monroe, La.; Tyler, Texas.; and Williamsport, Pa.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement for at least six months in housing permits, employment and housing prices.

The two metros that dropped off of the improving markets list in November were Iowa City and Wichita Falls. These metros experienced declines in their employment and permit data, respectively.

“Texas continues to dominate the list of improving housing markets in November, increasing its net number of entries to eight and continuing a trend in which energy-producing metros seem to be doing better than the average,” says NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “Meanwhile, the geographic diversity of metros also continued to expand this month, with the states of Colorado, Georgia and Ohio all represented for the first time. This is further evidence that all housing markets are uniquely dependent upon local conditions, and some are leading the way toward an eventual, broader recovery.”

NAHB chief economist David Crowe said that the November IMI remains heavily weighted by smaller cities, with Pittsburgh and New Orleans as the only major metros represented.

“This is indicative of the tough conditions that continue to prevail across much of the country, particularly in larger markets that have been hit hardest by job losses and foreclosures during the recession and that will take more time to heal,” said Crowe.

For more information, visit the NAHB website.

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