The number of housing markets showing measurable improvement nearly doubled in January with the addition of 40 new metros to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released today. The IMI shows 76 improving markets, up from 41 in December, with 31 states and the District of Columbia represented by at least one entry.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months, according to the release. New entrants to the list in January include the following (listed alphabetically by state):

Florence, Ala

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Fayetteville, Ark.

Denver, Col.

Greeley, Col.

Bridgeport, Conn.

New Haven, Conn.

Cape Coral, Fla.

Jacksonville, Fla.

Punta Gorda, Fla.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Ames, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa

Dubuque, Iowa

Elkhart, Ind.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Lafayette, Ind.

Lake Charles, La.

Worcester, Mass.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lansing, Mich.

Monroe, Mich.

Minneapolis, Minn.

Columbia, Mo.

Joplin, Mo.

Fargo, N.D.

Manchester, N.H.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Ok.

Tulsa, Ok.

Corvallis, Ore.

Erie, Pa.

Philadelphia, Pa.

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Clarksville, Tenn.

Nashville, Tenn.

College Station, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Madison, Wis.

“The fact that the list of improving housing markets nearly doubled this month shows that a significant, positive trend is developing, and is even more relevant when you consider the expanding geographic distribution of the list–which now includes 31 states and the District of Columbia,” says NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “This trend could be even stronger if not for the numerous impediments that continue to slow a housing and economic recovery, including overly restrictive lending policies and the growing inventory of distressed properties in certain markets.”

According to the release, only five metropolitan areas dropped from the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index in January. These included Anchorage, Alaska; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Canton, Ohio; Scranton, Pa.; and Charleston, W. Va.

A complete list of all 76 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI is available on the NAHB’s website.


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