Data from real estate records throughout 2012 highlighted the major improvements seen in home prices and mortgage rates, but more metropolitan areas have shown notable gains in housing permits and employment as well. This is apparent by the expansion of the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Market Index.
According to the report, the list of improving housing markets increased to 259, up from 242 recorded in January. Additionally, all 50 states are now represented, which is indicative of more widespread stabilization. Of the 20 new cities added to the list, diversity is evident.
Some notable new additions include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Racine, Wisconsin; Rome, Georgia and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
"Just over 70 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI are listed as improving this month,” said David Crowe, chief economist of NAHB. "That's a far cry from when we initiated this index with just 12 improving metros in September of 2011 for the purpose of highlighting places that didn't fit the mold of the national headlines. Today, the story is about how widespread the recovery has become as conditions steadily improve in markets nationwide.”