Number of Improving Housing Markets Surges to 201 in December

by devteam December 7th, 2012 | Share

The number of housing markets designatedrnas improving by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) took a hugernjump in December, increasing by 76 to 201 metropolitan areas.  This means that over half of all metropolitanrnareas tracked by NAHB are now considered to be improving and 44 states plus thernDistrict of Columbia now have at least one city on the list, up from 38 inrnNovember.  Eight cities were dropped fromrnthe list and 84 were added. </p

Improving markets are those which havernhad six consecutive months of improvement from their respective low points inrneach of three independent measures, employment, home prices, and housingrnconstruction.  NAHB uses the issuance ofrnhousing permits tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau; employment growth from thernBureau of Labor Statistics, and housing price appreciation from Freddie Mac.</p

Among the metropolitan areas added tornthe list in December were Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Bloomington, Illinois, and GreenrnBay, Wisconsin.  Seven cities were addedrnin California and four each in Washington, North Carolina, New York, andrnVirginia.  Texas also added two citiesrnwhile two others dropped from the list. <br /<br /"The big gain in improving markets this December indicates that keyrnmeasures of housing and economic strength have now been holding steady orrnimproving in metros across the country for six months or more, which is anrnimportant signal of stability amidst the slowly emerging recovery," saidrnNAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg.  “Thernmain thing that’s limiting the progress we’re seeing right now is therndifficulty that potential buyers continue to experience with regard to overly tightrnmortgage qualifying standards.”<br /<br /"This fourth consecutive month of expansion in the IMI, coupled with thernfact that well over half of all metro areas are now represented on the list, isrnin keeping with the upward trends that we've been seeing all year in terms ofrnhousing starts and sales, builder confidence and other measures," notedrnNAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "In general, we expect the overallrnhousing recovery to continue expanding in 2013. However, that is absent a majorrnpolicy change of the kind that some policymakers have been discussing withrnregard to the mortgage interest deduction."

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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