Good news from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): March is the 7th month to consecutively show housing market growth and stabilization! This steady improvement is exactly what we like to hear after the housing market had taken a decisive hit during the recession. Moreover, this is the 2nd month in a row where all 50 states (as well as the District of Columbia) are represented on something called the First American Improving Markets Index, or IMI.
According to Rick Judson, the NAHB Chairman and North Carolina homebuilder, “The expanding housing recovery is energizing communities nationwide by generating jobs and local tax revenues — and it could be an even more potent force for economic growth if credit for building and buying homes was more readily available.” It’s a self-prophetic cycle home buyers, home builders, and cities must continue to encourage.
The IMI indicates all metropolitan areas that have shown significant improvement in the housing market How is this measured across the nation? There are several factors that a city must meet before they can be considered for inclusion on this Index. First of all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics must support the assertion that employment in the area has improved and there has been active job growth in the area. The pricing of homes across the metro area must also be analyzed, as well as the number of housing permits applied for and issued. Lastly, these numbers must all be maintained and show continued progress for no fewer than six consecutive months. As you can tell, it’s not easy to be included on this list, and such stringent qualifications make for a well-defined measure of improvement over time.
Are we there yet? Not quite, but the improvement across the nation is a strong indication that things are going well and continue to do so. The IMI is holding steady at just over 75% of all housing markets making considerable progress. David Crowe, the Chief Economist for the NAHB says that home builders must “understand that many markets are just beginning the recovery process, and that numerous issues – from credit availability to the rising cost of building materials and emerging lot shortages – are slowing the pace of that advancement.”
It’s evident that a quick fix is out of the question, and even more, a quick fix would not solve much of anything at all. And in spite of the uncertainty, the collective response of the experts and NAHB committee members such as Vice Chairman Kurt Pfotenhauer, “It looks as like we are finally seeing the beginning of what could be a broad and deep recovery of the nation’s housing market.”
American Classic Homes is a new and custom home builder in West Seattle, WA. For more information, please call (206) 588-1147.