23 Housing Markets Showing Sustained Growth

23 Housing Markets Showing Sustained Growth

We tend to be heralding bad housing market news of late – not because we’re happy about it, but because that tends to be all that comes across our desk. So when we stumble upon a positive outlook on the housing market, we take note. This week the NAHB posted a video with David Crowe, their chief economist, talking about the NAHB First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This is an index the NAHB created 2 months ago to measure housing improvements in local markets. So often we hear about the aggregate numbers, but don’t talk about the particular cities and areas that are “bucking the trend” so-to-speak (and if you’re a professional contractor, these are the places you may want to take a second look at if they are in your general location/region).


The IMI allows the NAHB to reveal locations with housing markets showing sustained growth – and last year there were only … This month the NAHB IMI Index improved to 23, nearly doubling their prior report in September (which was 12). This is continued, but modest improvement and it reflects gains in housing permits (from the U.S. Census Bureau), employment (via the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and also housing prices (according to Freddie Mac). These numbers are highly localized in areas that are built around energy and agriculture. For example, Pittsburgh and New Orleans remain the two largest improving
markets and nearly 1/3 of the housing markets showing sustained growth are in Texas, but the locations also spread to the east coast and even up to Illinois (not to mention Alaska).

The NAHB hopes to see these numbers continue to rise along with the economy. Here is the list of the 23 emerging housing markets showing sustained growth in October’s list:

  • Alexandria, La.
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Bismarck, N.D.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Houma, La.
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Jonesboro, Ark.
  • Kankakee, Ill.
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Midland, Texas
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Odessa, Texas
  • Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Sherman, Texas
  • Sumter, S.C.
  • Waco, Texas
  • Waterloo, Iowa
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Winston-Salem, N.C.

Apparently, Bangor, Maine, was the only area to drop off of the improving markets list in October, due to a decline in local building permits. Stephen King fans are also migrating south to warmer weather which may also account for the stumble…


To hit the list, a metro area must see improvement in housing prices, employment, and building permits for at least 6 months following their respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.

Good news is good news – let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend.

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