According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the number of metro areas with six months of improving market conditions for the housing industry increased by 84, Nov. to Dec., a huge jump to 201 total. Eight areas were removed from the list. The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) survey measures housing permits, employment data and house prices. The number of states that made the list increased from 38 in Nov. to 44 in Dec. plus the District of Columbia. Metro areas added include, Seattle, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Mich., Green Bay, Wis. and Bloomington, Ill. NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, noting the stability that is returning to the market, says, “The main thing that’s limiting the progress we’re seeing right now is the difficulty that potential buyers continue to experience with regard to overly tight mortgage qualifying standards.” As MHProNews has been informed, a market must see improvement in all three categories for six consecutive months before being included.
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