Twenty new areas were added to the NAHB’s improving housing markets list in February, and only three were dropped. Newly added sites include Rome, Ga.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Albuquerque, N.M. (pictured); and Racine, Wis.
Metropolitan markets for homes are improving in each of the 50 states, according to the National Association of Homebuilders’ market index.
Housing markets on the rise increased to 259 metropolitan areas in February, up from 242 the month prior, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) released February 6. The growth represents six months of expansion. By comparison, the index began in September 2011 with only 12 areas listed.
“Just over 70 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI are listed as improving this month,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “Today the story is about how widespread the recovery has become, as conditions steadily improve in markets nationwide.”
The index identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their lows in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
"The fact that all 50 states now have at least one metro [area] on the improving list shows that the housing recovery has substantial momentum and continues to expand from one market to the next," said Rick Judson, NAHB’s chairman and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.
The results follow reports of big jumps in housing prices amid falling supply and increasing demand from two other industry groups.
CoreLogic announced that home prices rose 8.3 percent in December compared with a year earlier, the biggest annual gain since May 2006, and that prices rose last year in 46 of 50 states. Asking prices were also up 0.9 percent month-over-month, the largest monthly gain since the home-price recovery began, according to Trulia. Prices are up year-over-year in 86 of the 100 largest metro areas.