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housing_stabilityThe U.S. housing market continues to improve with two additional states–New York and Kansas–entering their outer range of stable housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). The index also added three more metro areas: New York, N.Y.; Minneapolis, Minn. and Palm Bay, Fla.

“The strong annual change of 6.31 percent is the best improvement we’ve seen in the MiMi on a year-over-year basis since July 2014,” says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “While strong home purchase applications and rising home values in some markets are contributing to this improvement, its largely more of a reflection of mortgage delinquencies continuing to decline at a steady pace, especially in those hardest hit markets, and a better employment picture overall. States in the West are still seeing some of the strongest housing activity and among those Utah really stands out. Not only do many of the state’s local housing markets such as Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden have strong buyer demand but they’re also still largely affordable for the typical family looking for a median priced home. This is due to the state’s robust economy and better than average job creation.”

The national MiMi value stands at 81.9, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity, while showing an improvement of +0.59 percent from September to October and a three-month improvement of +1.54 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +6.31 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 38 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.

“We do expect homebuyer affordability to decrease in the coming year, but we don’t expect tighter monetary policy to generate a spike in longer-term interest rates in the foreseeable future,” says Kiefer. “The Fed has committed publicly to measured increases in short-term rates. While mortgage rates will rise modestly, they will still remain at historically low levels. Combined with stronger job and income growth, the net result may be strong growth in household formation, construction, and home sales.”

Thirty-two of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (101.1), North Dakota (95.3), Montana (95.1), Hawaii (94.1) and Utah (92) ranking in the top five. Compared to the same time last year, 21 states and the District of Columbia had MiMi values in a stable range.

Fifty-three of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno, Calif. (101.9), Austin, Texas (96.5), Honolulu, HI (95.5), Salt Lake City, Utah (95.2) and Los Angeles, Calif. (95) ranking in the top five. Compared to the same time last year, 29 of the top 100 metros had MiMi values in a stable range.

The most improving states month-over-month were New York (+1.90 percent), New Jersey (+1.79 percent), Florida (+1.29 percent), Nevada (+1.27 percent), and Oregon (+1.26 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+14.47 percent), Oregon (+12.2 percent), Colorado (+11.97 percent), Washington (+11.69 percent) and Nevada (+11.13 percent).

The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Allentown, PA (+1.99 percent). Tampa, Fla, (+1.98 percent), Cleveland, Ohio (+1.93 percent), Palm Bay, Fla (+1.91) and Las Vegas, Nev. (+1.69 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+17.94 percent), Tampa, Fla. (+16.94 percent), Cape Coral, Fla. (+16.60 percent), Denver, Colo. (+15.21 percent) and Palm Bay, Fla (+14.78).

In October, 43 of the 50 states and 89 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 36 of the 50 states, and 70 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

For more information, visit www.freddiemac.com.

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