The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
A new index compiled by economists at NAHB has identified local housing markets that have been gaining ground lately, a sharp contrast to conditions one year ago.
Making its debut on Sept. 7, the monthly NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) reveals metropolitan areas that have shown improvement for at least six months in housing permits, employment and home prices.
The list of metropolitan areas includes:
- Alexandria, La.
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Bangor, Maine
- Bismarck, N.D.
- Casper, Wyo.
- Fairbanks, Alaska
- Fayetteville, N.C.
- Houma, La.
- Midland, Texas
- New Orleans
- Waco, Texas
"Despite the challenging conditions in the national economy and housing sector, there are areas throughout the country where we are seeing pockets of improvement" said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
"Housing conditions are local, and do not always reflect the national picture,” he said. “We created this new index to shine a light on those housing markets across the country that have stabilized and have begun to show signs of recovery."
"By examining key indicators of home prices, employment and housing permits data, we are using a comprehensive, but conservative method in determining which markets are improving," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
"Last year at this time, there was not a single market that showed improvement using these criteria, and now we can point to 12 examples of growth," Crowe said.
"It's not surprising that many of the states represented are energy-rich areas," he said. "Those are the regions still experiencing relatively strong employment, supporting housing demand."
The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health.
The index measures three sets of independent monthly data on Metropolitan Statistical Areas: employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A metro area must see improvement in all three areas for at least six months following their respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate the list of improving markets.
Go to www.nahb.org/imi for additional data, tables and a list of 2011 future economic release dates.
The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) will be released on the fourth business day of each month at 10:00 a.m. ET, unless that day falls on a Friday, in which case the index will be released the following Monday.