WASHINGTON—The list of improving U.S. housing markets remained virtually unchanged after seven consecutive months of gains, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). The IMI tracks housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of economic improvement based on employment growth, house price appreciation and single-family housing permit growth. This latest update to the IMI shows a net reduction of one market since March but otherwise includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Five new markets were added to the list in April, bringing the IMI to a total of 273 metropolitan areas. Newcomers were the geographically diverse Macon, Georgia; Portland, Maine; Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Eugene, Oregon; and Jackson, Tennessee. To be included on the list, a metro area must see improvement in employment, housing permits and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
“With 75 percent of the country seeing measurable improvement in housing market conditions, the outlook is definitely brightening for local economies this spring,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.
A complete list of the IMI, including those added or dropped, can be found here.