Friday, September 9, 2011


Since I'm always trying to find good news about the housing industry, I was delighted to see that the NAHB was releasing a guide to areas with recovering housing markets.  I think it is a great idea but when I read the press release it sounded more like a "feel good" Pollyanna guide.  Personally, I can't see any more benefit to this chart than a chart showing the worst recovery areas.

Is Austin, TX going to show up on next month's chart because of all the wildfires?  How about New England where Irene caused major flooding or maybe this week's flooding from Lee in the Northeast with thousands of homes that need replaced?  Will they make the list of great recovery areas?

I guess the key words in the article are "consistently shown signs of improvement."  What determines that is left up to whoever feels something is consistent.  Maybe rebuilding 5,000 homes in the Northeast is consistent growth but that has nothing to do with either an economic recovery or Obama.

I'm not sure what I would like to see on a graph or chart concerning new home starts but I don't think this is it.

Here is the press release from the NAHB:

The new Improving Markets Index will track areas that show consistently positive numbers in key economic areas.

After enduring what has seemed like an endless string of dismal numbers reports, the housing industry is about to get some good news. Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) launched the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), dedicated entirely to tracking metropolitan areas that have consistently shown signs of improvement.

To make the list, a metro area must have shown at least six months of improvement from its trough in three areas the NAHB sees as key to determining the pulse of the housing market: housing permits, employment, and home prices.

To be released monthly, the index will draw its data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for employment growth numbers, house price appreciation data from Freddie Mac, and single-family permit numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Housing conditions are local and do not always reflect the national picture," said Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman, in a release today. "We created this new index to shine a light on those housing markets across the country that have stabilized and have begun to show signs of recovery."

This month, 12 metro areas made the cut: Alexandria, La.; Anchorage, Alaska.; Bangor, Maine; Bismarck, N.D.; Casper, Wyo.; Fairbanks, Alaska.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Houma, La.; Midland, Texas; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; and Waco, Texas.

"It’s not surprising that many of the states represented are energy rich areas," observed David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist. Still, he points out, "last year at this time, there was not a single market that showed improvement using these criteria."

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Coach, Nobody can say you don't have an opinion. I agree with you but I can't stand the entire NAHB. Our local chapter only meets to eat dinner and drink. In this economy maybe that's not such a bad idea.