The U.S. housing market is slowly continuing to stabilize, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). The MiMi showed two additional metro areas entering their outer range of stable housing activity: Scranton and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“The nation’s housing market continues to improve riding the wave of the best year in home sales since 2007,” Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “With the MiMi purchase applications indicator at its highest level in more than seven years we expect home sales to remain strong. Low mortgage rates are fueling the recovery across the country. Places like Denver, Austin and Salt Lake City, and most markets in California, are seeing robust home purchase demand and in many cases double-digit growth over last year.”
The national MiMi value stands at 81.2, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity, while showing an improvement of +0.27 percent from July to August and a three-month improvement of +2.54 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +6.16 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 37 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.
Twenty-nine of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (96.9), District of Columbia (103.9), Hawaii (93.5), Montana (93.2), and Utah (90.3) ranking in the top five.
Forty-seven of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (99.4), Austin (96.6), Honolulu (94.1), Salt Lake City (93.3) and Los Angeles (93) ranking in the top five.
The most improving states month-over-month were Ohio (+1.30 percent), South Carolina (+1.20 percent), New Jersey (+0.97 percent), Colorado (+0.92 percent) and Georgia (+0.83 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+14.07 percent), Oregon (+12.02 percent), Nevada (11.75 percent), Colorado (+11.28 percent), and Washington (+10.41 percent).
The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Akron, Ohio (+1.47 percent), Palm Bay, Fla. (+1.28 percent), Cleveland, Ohio (+1.27 percent), Lakeland, Fla. (+1.26 percent) and Denver, Colo. (+1.21 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+18.07 percent), Cape Coral, Fla. (+17.77 percent), Tampa, Fla. (+16.00 percent), Denver, Colo. (14.73) and Palm Bay, Fla. (+14.64 percent).
In August, 48 of the 50 states and 98 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 35 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 71 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.
“Buoyed by strong employment growth, housing supply is struggling to keep pace with demand, which is driving house prices higher,” says Kiefer. “Fortunately, low mortgage interest rates are helping to keep homebuying affordable for some prospective homebuyers. Nationwide, housing markets are getting back to their long term benchmark averages, but they still have room for improvement. We’re expecting housing to sustain its momentum going into yearend, but we’re going to need stronger income growth to carry housing throughout 2016.”
For more information, visit FreddieMac.com/mimi.