Every state in the country has at least one metro area considered to be “improving,” according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), which expanded to a total of 259 metro areas in February. 

The index—in which metros qualify as improving once they have shown gains in housing permits, employment, and house prices for six consecutive months after their respective troughs—tracks 361 metro areas, of which slightly more than 70% are considered to be improving. 

“That’s a far cry from when we initiated this index with just 12 improving metros in September 2011 for the purpose of highlighting places that didn’t fit the mold of the national headlines,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, in a statement discussing the numbers.  “Today, the story is about how widespread the recovery has become as conditions steadily improve in markets nationwide.”

See the NAHB’s full release discussing February’s IMI reading.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.