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Freddie Mac recently released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to slowly stabilize with two additional states, Arkansas and Tennessee, and four additional metro areas entering their outer range of stable housing activity: Omaha, Nebraska; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Chattanooga, Tennessee and Madison, Wisconsin.

The national MiMi value stands at 80.3, indicating a housing market that is on its outer stable range, while showing an improvement of +1.33 percent from May to June and a three-month improvement of +2.26 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +5.41 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 35 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.

“Housing markets are the strongest they’ve been in years with the National MiMi above 80 for the first time since 2008, says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction. Robust homebuyer demand has put total home sales on pace for the best year since 2007 and look for that trend to continue as the MiMi purchase applications indicator remains on the upswing. The West has been especially strong, with many markets posting double-digit growth in their MiMi purchase applications indicator compared to a year ago.”

Twenty-eight of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (101.7), North Dakota (96.2), Montana (93.5), Hawaii (92.9), and California and Utah tied at (89) and ranking in the top five.

Forty-two of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (96.8), Austin (94.9), Honolulu (93.7), Salt Lake City (91.7) and Los Angeles (91.5) ranking in the top five.

The most improving states month-over-month were New Jersey (+2.61 percent), Florida (+2.60 percent), District of Columbia (+2.31 percent), Connecticut (+2.26 percent) and Nevada and Rhode Island tied (+2.18 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Oregon (+13.59 percent), Florida (+13.27 percent), Nevada (12.38 percent), Colorado (+10.18 percent), and Rhode Island (+9.32 percent).

The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Stockton, CA (+3.48 percent), Cape Coral, Fla. (+3.36 percent), Sarasota, Fla. (+3.34 percent), Lakeland, Fla. (+3.19 percent) and Tampa, Fla. (+2.96 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+16.22 percent), Cape Coral, Fla. (+16.13 percent), Portland, Ore. (+14.57 percent), Palm Bay, Fla. (+14.37 percent) and North Port, Fla. (+14.33 percent).

In June, 45 of the 50 states and 95 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 33 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 80 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

“While home prices are still 7 percent below peak values nationally, price indices in many markets are at all-time highs and current low interest rates are helping to support homebuyer affordability,” says Kiefer. “Mortgage delinquencies are coming down rapidly, but are still high in many markets. Those markets hardest hit by the Great Recession, including many in Florida, are rebounding but they still need to improve to get delinquencies back in line with their benchmark historic averages. The key driver of all this recovery has been solid job growth, with 96 out of 100 metros and all states within range of their benchmark historic average unemployment rate.”

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