Improving Housing Markets List Ticks Down

Washington, DC, May 7, 2013 -- The number of U.S. housing markets showing sustained improvement fell slightly to 258 in May from 273 in April, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index.

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 fact that over 70 percent of all U.S. metros are holding onto their spots on the improving list is definitely good news, and representative of the generally brightening outlook for housing markets nationwide," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson.

"That said, our industry's progress on the road to recovery is being slowed by rising challenges related to the availability of credit, building materials, labor and lots for development."

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said seasonal trends in home prices resulted in an overall decline in the index this month, but it remains at a very strong level and continues to represent markets in every state.