Improving Market List Drops Slightly in May

The Improving Markets Index fell to 258 metros in May from 273 in April, but continues to reflect metros from every state as well as the District of Columbia, according to the National Association of Home Builders and First American.

The Improving Markets Index identifies the metro areas that have shown improvement in housing permits, employment, and housing prices for at least six consecutive months.

Nineteen metros dropped from May’s index, but NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says that this is similar to what happened with the index last year, as softer prices are usually seen in the winter months.

Meanwhile, four new markets were added to this month’s index: Dothan, Ala.; Elizabethtown, Ky.; Salisbury, Md.; and Salem, Ore.

“The fact that over 70 percent of all U.S. metros are holding onto their spots on the improving list is definitely good news, and representative of the generally brightening outlook for housing markets nationwide,” says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson. “That said, our industry’s progress on the road to recovery is being slowed by rising challenges related to the availability of credit, building materials, labor, and lots for development.”

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