The list of housing markets showing measurable improvement expanded by 29 metropolitan areas for February to include a total of 98 entries on the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).
Thirty-six states are now represented by at least one market on the IMI, which 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 updated index also adds some metropolitan areas that have been particularly weak – this is due to the fact that the IMI measures improvement from a bottom – and some of the hardest-hit markets are showing signs of coming off of extreme lows. Keeping this in mind, notable new entrants to IMI include Miami; Boston; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Salt Lake City.Â
However, seven markets dropped from the IMI in February due to softening house prices: San Jose, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Kankakee, Ill.; New Orleans; Worcester, Mass.; Jackson, Miss.; and Sherman, Tex.
‘While many of the markets on the February IMI are far from fully recovered, the index points out where employment, home prices and housing production are no longer retreating and have held above their lowest recession troughs for six months or more,’ says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. ‘This is a sign that a large cross section of the country is starting to turn the corner as local economic conditions stabilize.’Â Â
A complete list of all 98 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI is available online.