Real estate is local, as we all know, which makes it difficult to talk about the state of the market as a whole. National statistics often serve to confuse more than enlighten. One city may be booming because of job growth, while another may be crushed under the weight of a foreclosure crisis that seems to have no end in sight.
That’s why I like indicators like the Improving Markets Index from the National Association of Home Builders and First American that identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective bottoms in three areas: housing permits, employment and house prices. If a metro area shows improvement in each of the three areas for six consecutive months, the index highlights them as an improving market.
The latest index found that housing markets improved in 80 metro areas over the last six months, adding five new metros: Miami and Palm Bay, Fla.; Hinesville, Ga.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lubbock, Texas.
With nearly one quarter of all U.S. metropolitan areas showing improvement in their housing markets, now may actually be a great time to buy for folks in these areas – no hyperbole, no marketing gibberish, just cold facts that point to strength in the underlying economic indicators for housing in these places
Which metro areas are on the list? To see a complete list of the 80 metros, download the August chart listed on this page of NAHB’s website.
These are the types of data that are important to highlight for consumers in the areas of interest. Many consumers are still skittish about buying and selling conditions and rightfully so. If we take the time as an industry to pull out important indicators like the improving markets index and give the context around what it means, it can help to support consumer decisions about whether now is the right time for them to buy or sell a home.