Most metro housing markets still on upswing

Most metro housing markets still on upswing

Most metro housing markets still on upswing

Six of Colorado’s seven biggest metro areas – including Boulder – made the National Association of Home Builders’ most recent Improving Markets Index. Boulder has seen 15.9 percent growth since its permits “trough date” of Nov. 30, 2009, and 8.7 percent growth in home prices and employment since January 2011 and August 2009, respectively, making […]

Six of Colorado’s seven biggest metro areas – including Boulder – made the National Association of Home Builders’ most recent Improving Markets Index.

Boulder has seen 15.9 percent growth since its permits “trough date” of Nov. 30, 2009, and 8.7 percent growth in home prices and employment since January 2011 and August 2009, respectively, making it the most improved among Colorado metros.

For much of 2012, Boulder, Greeley and Fort Collins-Loveland were included on the Improving Markets list and, although Pueblo was added in late 2012, it dropped off again in recent months. Colorado Springs and Grand Junction were added earlier this year and remained on the recently released June list.

The list identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Census Bureau. Twenty-nine new markets were added to the list while 24 others were dropped from it this month. The index is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health.

The number of U.S. housing markets on the mend rose by five to a total of 263 in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index. The list includes entrants from 49 states and the District of Columbia.

“This is the fifth consecutive month in which the IMI has designated more than 70 percent of U.S. metros as improving,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a homebuilder from Charlotte, North Carolina. “While that’s a good sign that the housing recovery is on solid footing, we know that various challenges are slowing its progress – including continuing issues with credit availability for builders and buyers, as well as appraisals that aren’t keeping up with the rising cost of construction.”

NAHB chief economist David Crowe noted that it’s not unusual to see a metro added to the list as market conditions improve, or to see others nudged off by marginal seasonal fluctuations

“Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the number of improving markets is now more than three times what it was in June 2012,” Crowe said.

A complete list of all 263 metros currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in June, is available online at www.nahb.org/imi.    

Tom Kalinski, broker/owner of Re/Max of Boulder, can be reached at 303-441-5620 or tomkalinski@mindspring.com.