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U.S. Housing Market Shows Signs of Stabilizing

Dec 23, 2014

Freddie Mac has released its newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize as 70 of the markets tracked are now showing positive momentum, including two additional metro areas reaching their benchmark stable ranges, San Jose and Pittsburgh.

Currently, the national MiMi value stands at 74.5, indicating a weak housing market overall, but showing a slight improvement (+0.12 percent) from September to October and a positive three-month trend of (+0.42 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the U.S. housing market has improved (+4.48 percent). The nation's all-time MiMi high of 122.5 was June 2006; its low was 60.3 in September 2011, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the housing market has made a 23.5 percent rebound.

"When we look at the stability of the housing market we've seen a modest 0.5 percent improvement since the beginning of the year in the national index. Housing markets continue to heal across the country with those hardest hit showing the biggest improvement," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. "Low mortgage rates have helped, but we also need better household income growth. The employment picture needs to improve more to strengthen wage growth. The good news is we're slowly starting to see this happen in areas like Denver, San Jose, Nashville and Pittsburgh to name a few, where we're also seeing better purchase application activity on a monthly basis."

Thirteen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (95.9) the District of Columbia (94.1), Montana (91.2), Wyoming (91.0), and Hawaii (89.2) ranking in the top five.

Eight of the 50 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with San Antonio (89.9), Austin (87.0), Houston (85.3), Los Angeles (84.4) and Salt Lake City (83.1), ranking in the top five.

The most improving states month-over-month were Colorado (+1.46 percent), Kentucky (+1.36 percent), Idaho (+1.09 percent), Maryland (+1.01 percent) and North Carolina (+1.00 percent) On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+18.95 percent), Illinois (+10.55 percent), Florida (+9.42 percent), Rhode Island (9.19 percent) and Colorado (+9.00 percent).

The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Kansas City (+3.44 percent), Memphis (+3.41 percent), Atlanta (+3.14 percent), Charlotte (+2.87 percent) and Denver (2.81 percent). On a year-over-year basis the most improving metro areas were Las Vegas (+23.84 percent), Chicago (+13.38 percent), Miami, (+12.50 percent), Denver (+12.10 percent) and Riverside (+12.08 percent).

In October, 29 of the 50 states and 41 of the 50 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 39 states plus the District of Columbia, and 43 of the top 50 metro areas were showing an improving three month trend.

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