The U.S. housing market continued to improve in October, reaching a score of 86.4 on Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi).
That’s up 0.42% from September, up 1.86% from July and up 5.88% from October 2015.
The index, which was introduced last year, measures the overall strength of the housing market based on four indicators: purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, percent of borrowers current on their mortgages and employment.
The MiMi has been steadily improving through this year. As of the end of September, the index value stood at 86. As of the end of August, it was 85.7.
As of the end of October, 80 of the top 100 housing markets across the country showed steady improvement, with one additional state, Georgia, entering into the normal benchmark range of activity.
Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 46% but remains significantly off its high score of 121.7.
As of the end of October, 41 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, had MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with Colorado (98.6), Utah (101.5), Hawaii (98.0), Idaho (97.2) and Oregon (96.8) ranking in the top five with scores closest to their historical benchmark index levels of 100.
Seventy-seven of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with Dallas (100.2); Nashville, Tenn. (100.5); Honolulu (100.8); Ogden, Utah (100.8); and Los Angeles (99.1) ranking in the top five with scores closest to their historical benchmark index levels of 100.
The most improving states month over month were Nevada (+1.96%), Connecticut (+1.45%), Arizona (+1.40%), South Carolina (+1.33%) and Washington (+1.31%).
On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+12.87%), Massachusetts (+12.77%), Florida (+11.65%), Mississippi (+11.53%) and Arizona (+10.28%).
The most improving metro areas were Springfield, Mass. (+1.96%); Tucson, Ariz. (+1.87%); Las Vegas (+1.77%); Ogden, Utah (+1.51%); and Worcester, Mass. (+1.48%).
On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+17.45%); Worcester, Mass. (+16.02%); Chattanooga, Tenn. (+14.78%); Dallas (+14.51%); and Tampa, Fla. (+14.45%).
In October, 43 of the 50 states and 82 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 30 states and 69 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.
Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist for Freddie Mac, points out that the report for October “does not yet capture the recent jump in mortgage rates since the election, which will drive down home buyer affordability and likely dampen demand for home sales next year in some markets.”
“While we see strong house price growth in markets like Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix and others, most are still well below their pre-2008 peak and still have significant room for improvement,” Kiefer says in a release.
Still, “The purchase applications indicator is up nearly 20 percent from last year and is reflected in the recent better-than-expected existing and new home sales purchase data,” he says.