Washington, DC, Jan. 7, 2013 -- The number of metropolitan areas on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index rose for a fifth consecutive month to 242 in January.
This is up from 201 markets listed as improving in December, and includes entrants from 48 states and the District of Columbia.
The index identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
A total of 47 new metros were added to the list and six were dropped from it this month.
“The IMI has almost doubled in the past two months as stronger demand during prime home buying season boosted prices across a broader number of metropolitan areas,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
“Similar home price gains, and hence the IMI, may be tempered in the future as we see data from typically slower months for home sales.”