February 11th, 2013
Buyers seeking out affordable homes in improving markets may now have more housing options from which to choose.
The National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) found that the number of improving housing markets expanded for the sixth consecutive month, climbing to 259 markets in February, up from 242 the previous month. All 50 states were represented in the research. The analysis takes a number of factors into account to measure housing market health, including housing permits, employment and house prices.
“Just over 70 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI are listed as improving this month,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “That’s a far cry from when we initiated this index with just 12 improving metros in September of 2011 for the purpose of highlighting places that didn’t fit the mold of the national headlines. Today, the story is about how widespread the recovery has become as conditions steadily improve in markets nationwide.”
The expansion marks positive news for several demographics, including existing residents of improving areas and workers who are relocating to a strengthening locale. As the markets continue to gain steam, working with a mortgage consultant to compare neighborhoods based on affordability and long-term growth may be in a buyer’s best interest.