A housing index that tracks improving housing markets showed signs of cooling this month, following consistent climbs in recent months. The National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index for August had 247 metros across 49 states and the District of Columbia reflected — adding three newcomers but dropping 11 cities from its list.
The Improving Markets Index reflects metros that have shown improvement in housing permits, employment, and home prices for at least six consecutive months.
Three new markets were added to the list this month: Kankakee, Ill., Atlantic City, and Ocean City, N.J.
Meanwhile, 11 metros were dropped: Huntington and Parkersburg, W. Va.; Las Cruces, N.M.; Tyler, Texas; Lewiston, Idaho; Lancaster, Pa.; Bloomington, Ind.; Champaign, Ill.; Spartanburg, S.C.; St. Cloud, Minn.; and Virginia Beach, Va.
The metros that were dropped from the list had originally qualified with very small home price improvements, says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
While the index reflected fewer metros this month, NAHB notes that the index has triple the number of metros on its list compared to last year at this time. Also, NAHB notes that nearly 70 percent of all U.S. metros are represented on the index.
“In all, 244 metros that were listed as improving in July retained that status in August, and this is an encouraging sign of the continuing housing recovery,” says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson. “That said, we know that the pace of improvement is being hampered somewhat by challenges that builders and buyers are experiencing with regard to the availability of credit, materials, lots for development and labor.”
To view a complete list of all 247 metros on the list, visit www.nahb.org/imi.
Source: National Association of Home Builders and “Eleven Cities Fall From Improving Markets List; Annual Trend Stays Strong,” Mortgage News Daily (Aug. 6, 2013)
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