Ninety-nine housing markets received marks for measurable improvement this month, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia are represented by at least one market on the list.
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. The 99 markets on the March IMI represent a net gain of one from February, with 31 metros being added and 30 markets slipping from the list, due primarily to incremental softening in house prices.
Notable new entrants on the IMI in March include Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin and San Antonio, Texas. Meanwhile, Anchorage; Iowa City; Washington, D.C.; and Jackson, Miss., all returned to the list as a result of recent revisions in their employment data.
‘In March, 68 metros retained their status as improving housing markets, while 31 new markets joined the list and 33 states had at least one entry on it,’ says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. ‘Meanwhile, 10 states now have four or more metros on the improving markets list, with Texas' 12 entries topping all others. The point is that economic conditions have been consistently strengthening in a diverse array of individual markets nationwide.’Â Â
The complete list of all 99 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in March, are available online.