May 22, 2018

More Metros Return to 'Normal' Housing Activity

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More Metros Return to 'Normal' Housing Activity

Fifty-nine metros have fully returned to, or even exceeded, their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index, which monitors permit activity, prices, and employment data to gauge how close metros fall to their historic economic and housing “normal” activity levels.

"We have always said this recovery would be a slow but steady one, and I think this index continues to prove this," says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "The year started a bit slower than anyone could have anticipated, but we still expect housing to play a greater role in aiding the overall economic recovery this year. The job market continues to mend, and that should spur a steady release of pent up demand among home buyers."

Eighty-five percent of the 351 metro markets measured have seen year-over-year economic gains.

The major metros who have exceeded their previous normal levels are Baton Rouge, La. – which is performing 41 percent better than its last normal market level – as well as Honolulu; Oklahoma City; Austin and Houston, Texas; Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif.; and Harrisburg, Pa. Smaller metros also performing stronger than their previous norms are mostly centered in “energy boom” areas, like Odessa and Midland, Texas; Bismarck, N.D.; Casper, Wyo.; and Grand Forks, N.D.

"Our builder members tell us they are starting to see more optimism in the field," says NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. "Mortgage rates are low, home prices are affordable and with the harsh winter behind us our latest surveys show builders are feeling more bullish about future sales conditions."

Source: National Association of Home Builders

Read more:

Smaller Housing Markets Leading Recovery
Recovery Spreads Beyond Energy States