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Improving Metros Scattered Nationwide

Florida's Miami and Palm Bay (pictured) were two of the five metro areas added to the national Improving Markets Index (IMI) in August, though the total number fell from the month previous.

Eighty metropolitan areas across 32 states and the District of Columbia have improving housing markets, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) in August, down from July's 84 mark and remaining close to January's year-low reading of 76.

Seventy-five of the markets were on the list in July; five new markets were added and nine areas fell from the list, due chiefly to slight movements in home prices.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective declines in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The five metros that were added to the list this month include Miami and Palm Bay, Fla.; Hinesville, Ga.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lubbock, Texas

''The list of improving housing markets in August includes metros across every region of the country, all of which have distinctly different characteristics in terms of their economic and employment bases as well as other factors,'' noted Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. ''One thing that most markets have in common, however, is the tight lending environment for both builders and buyers that continues to drag on their positive momentum.''

The IMI tracks housing markets throughout the country that show signs of improving economic health. The index measures 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 to get a monthly read on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

For a detailed list of all 80 metropolitan areas on the IMI, visit:

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October 17, 2019, 9:41 am PDT

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