After seven consecutive months of gains, the list of improving U.S. housing markets remained virtually unchanged in April, with 273 metros on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This total reflects a net reduction of one market since March and again 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. Five new markets were added to the list and six markets were dropped from it this month. Newcomers included Macon, Ga.; Portland, Maine; Rocky Mount, N.C.; Eugene, Ore.; and Jackson, Tenn.
‘The stability in the improving markets list this month is encouraging, with three quarters of all metros tracked by our index considered on the upswing as the housing recovery spreads to parts of every state,’ says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. ‘In some markets, the main thing that's holding back a recovery is a relatively thin inventory of homes for sale, which could be resolved if builders had easier access to credit for building homes and putting people back to work.’Â Â
A complete list of all 273 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in April is available online.