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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Aug 6, 2012 7:37 PM Flag

    Housing market shows improvement across all regions

    Housing market shows improvement across all regions

    By Vicki Needham - 08/06/12 02:30 PM ET

    Dozens of the nation's largest housing markets continue to show improvement, according to an index released on Monday.

    All told, 80 metro areas across 32 states and the District of Columbia were listed as improving housing markets on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for August.

    The index includes 75 markets that retained their places on the list along with five new ones, while nine areas fell from the list due primarily to slight movements in house prices.

    The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The five metros that were added to the list this month include Miami and Palm Bay, Fla.; Hinesville, Ga.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lubbock, Texas.

    "The fact that we continue to see a strong core of metros showing up on the improving list each month adds to the growing evidence that the emerging housing recovery has a solid foundation on which to build as housing returns to its traditional role of driving economic growth," said David Crowe, chief economist for NAHB.

    Builders say that despite the improvement across all regions, markets are taking longer to recover because of a tight lending environment for builders and buyers.

    Still record-low mortgage rates could spur purchases from potential homebuyers.

    "With nearly one quarter of all U.S. metros currently designated as improving housing markets, there is growing recognition among consumers that now is an opportune time to consider a home purchase," added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at First American Title Insurance Company.

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