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 (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). 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 Birmingham, Ala.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Bloomington, Ind.
‘This is the second consecutive month in which every state is represented by at least one metro on the improving list,’ says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. ‘The expanding housing recovery is energizing communities nationwide by generating jobs and local tax revenues – and it could be an even more potent force for economic growth if credit for building and buying homes was more readily available.’
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 online.