The number of markets officially considered as "improving" hits 101 in April, according to the latest reading of the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released today.
Of those on this month’s list, 88 are return appearances and 13 are new additions, after 11 markets that appeared on last month’s list became disqualified. (To be included in the IMI, a market must show improvement in employment growth, house price appreciation, and single-family housing permit growth for at least the previous six months.) The additions were garnered from less populated areas, such as Rome, Ga.; St. George, Utah; and Brownsville, Texas.
All in all, 34 states and the District of Columbia are now represented.
However, even as it passed the 100-listing landmark, David Crowe, chief economist at the NAHB, noted that the index may struggle to grow going forward due to how quickly a listing can be disqualified. "Those markets that have registered the smallest gains are more susceptible to dropping off the list due to a minor setback in prices, permits, or employment," he said in a statement regarding the numbers today, adding that "as stronger markets approach stability, it will get harder for them to keep charting improvement, which will also limit the expansion of the IMI."
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Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.