Nearly 100 U.S. housing markets are now regarded as "improving,"
with home prices and other indicators coming back from post-crash
lows, according to the National Association of Home Builders
That represents an increase of nearly one-third since last
month, to a total of 98 communities, the NAHB announced today. New
additions to the list include some of the nation's worst-hit
markets, Miami and Detroit among them.
"The number of improving housing markets has risen for six
consecutive months, and 36 states now have at least one
metropolitan area on the list," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
"This indicates that despite the many challenges that continue to
drag on a housing recovery - including the tight lending
environment for builders and buyers - improving conditions are
slowly but surely spreading from one housing market to the
Employment, permits and home prices up
To be regarded as improving, a local housing market must show
heightened levels of employment, building permits and home prices
over the past six months, as compared to post-crash lows. An
additional 36 metropolitan areas were added to the list in
February, while seven were dropped due to softening prices.
The fact that so many areas are maintaining improved figures for
all three indicators over half a year is an indication that a large
portion of the country is seeing the beginnings of an economic
recovery, according to David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. Even so,
he noted that many of the markets remain weak, with only small
improvements over their post-crash lows.
However, the overall direction of the trend was regarded as a
"The fact that there are nearly 100 markets now on the improving
list shows that the momentum is building for a housing recovery and
that more buyers and sellers are starting to feel confident enough
to return to the market," said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of
First American Title Insurance Company, which co-produces the
Improving Markets Index with the NAHB.