Only three Colorado metros made the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for October, and Boulder was one of them.
The number of metros throughout the United States experiencing six consecutive months or more of improving housing markets jumped to 103 in October, up from 99 in September and the most the since the index’s inception in October 2011.
Metros from 33 states and the District of Columbia appeared on the list, though the only Colorado metros that made an appearance were Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland and Greeley.
The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months, according to the NAHB. Markets added to the list in October include such geographically diverse locations as Santa Cruz, Calif.; Pocatello, Idaho; Abilene, Texas; and Savannah, Ga.
“While 11 new housing markets were designated as improving in October, 92 metros retained their spots on the IMI and just seven slipped from the list,” notes Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This is an encouraging sign that the housing recovery is proceeding at a steady pace as firming prices and employment help spur new building activity, which in turn generates new jobs and more home sales.”
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe agrees, saying, “The fact that most markets are maintaining their spots on the improving list from month to month is an important indication that the recovery trend is solidifying. At the same time, overly tight credit conditions are certainly constraining consumers’ ability to purchase homes as well as builders’ ability to construct them.”
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 to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are 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. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metropolitan area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.
A complete list of all 103 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in October, is available at www.nahb.org/imi.
Here’s how the three Colorado metros performed in each of the three categories the index measures:
RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc