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The spring buying season continues to cruise along throughout most of the country, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). Two additional metros—Charlotte, N.C., and Knoxville, Tenn.—entered their benchmark ranges.

The national MiMi value stands at 84.1, indicating a housing market that’s on the outer range of its historic benchmark level of housing activity, with a +0.27 percent improvement from March to April and a three-month improvement of +1.63 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +7.37 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 42 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.

Thirty-six of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with the District of Columbia (102), Hawaii (97.4), Utah (95.9) and Colorado, Montana and Oregon all having the same value (95.8) and being closest to their benchmark averages.

Sixty-seven of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values within range with Nashville, Tenn. (99.9), Honolulu, Hawaii (99.8), Salt Lake City, Utah (99.0), Los Angeles, Calif. (98.6) and Austin, Texas (102.6) ranking in the top five.

The most improving states month over month were Mississippi (+1.29%), Tennessee (+1.27%), Massachusetts (+1.15%), Florida (+0.98%) and Nebraska (+0.97%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+15.34%), Colorado (+14.73%), Nevada (+14.62%), Oregon (+14.46%) and New Jersey (+13.48%).

The most improving metro areas month over month were Lakeland, Fla. (+2.06%), Chattanooga, Tenn. (+2.04%), Modesto, Calif. (+1.83%), Orlando, Fla. (+1.82%), and New Haven, Conn. (+1.78%). On a year over year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+20.17%), Tampa, Fla. (+17.47%), Denver, Colo. (+17.39%), Cape Coral, Fla. (+16.69%), and Portland, Ore. (+15.99).

In April, 42 of the 50 states and 86 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 46 of the 50 states, and all of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

“Seven years into the recovery from the Great Recession most of the nation’s housing markets remain below their historical benchmarks, but continue to grind higher month-by-month,” says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “Nationally, MiMi in April 2016, is 84.1, a 7.37 percent year-over-year increase and the 48th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. Over this four-year timeframe, MiMi has increased 36.5 percent and now stands just 15.9 percent below its historic benchmark average.

“Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia 49 posted positive year-over-year changes. North Dakota and Wyoming, two states heavily reliant on the energy sector, were the only states with year-over-year declines. Out of the 100 metro areas MiMi tracks, 99 posted positive year-over-year gains, with Tulsa, Oklahoma — also with deep ties to the energy sector — posting no change year-over-year.

“Among the four MiMi indicators, Purchase Applications increased the most in April, rising 1.77 percent from March and up 15.27 percent year over year. The strong positive momentum in home purchase applications is a good sign for a housing market likely to post the best year in home sales since 2006. Despite strong house price growth, the MiMi Payment-to-Income indicator fell 1.05 percent in March, reflecting the impact of lower mortgage rates. If global factors like the Brexit put significant downward pressure on long-term mortgage rates, the U.S. housing market could benefit from increased affordability, helping to partially offset the impact of house prices, which are rising around six percentage points year over year nationally.”

For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com/mimi.

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