According to he National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), 32 states and Washington, D.C. rose in July from 80 to 84.
Since April, when the index reached a high of 101 improving markets, more than 20 markets had fallen off — but the latest numbers appear to signify a slow but steady stabilization. Both Phoenix and Tampa, markets that were among the worst hit by the market crash, are again on the list of improving markets — as are Prescott, AZ and Springfield, MA for the first time.
The index, issued monthly, uses a multitude of factors, including home-price appreciation, increases in single-family housing permits and employment growth to analyze a market’s “improvement score.” One of the largest housing markets in the country, Houston, TX, appeared on the index for the first time this month, reflecting good news for that city’s recovery.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also sees notable signs of recovery in the housing market — pending home sales in May were on track to match the highest pace in two years, more than 13 percent above the rate recorded in May last year, while the national median home price is on track to go up three percent this year. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, “ the latest increase in home contract signings marks 13 consecutive months of year-over-year gains… we’re on track to see a 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012.”
As NAHB Chief Economist put it, “this is evidence that the housing recovery is slowly but surely taking root, one market at a time.”
For more on the Improving Markets Index, check out these sources:
- 84 Metros Listed As Improving Housing Markets in July (NAHB.org)
- Housing Healing in More U.S. Cities (Developments Blog from Wall Street Journal)
- Real Estate Outlook: Improving Markets (Realty Times)