Illinois Makes List of Recovering Housing Markets

September 12, 2012

The number of U.S. metro areas that have improving housing markets increased from 80 in August to 99 in September, and though this doesn’t include real estate in Chicago, the improvement is moving closer to home.

According to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for September, the improved metropolitan areas have shown an increase in housing permits, house prices and employment for at least six consecutive months.

springfield illinois housing market impvoingIllinois has finally made the list, as one of the markets added to this month’s index was our state’s capital, Springfield.

“The number of improving housing markets grew by 19 in September as 68 metros retained their spots, 31 new metros were added and just 12 dropped off the list,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “This solid growth is an encouraging sign that housing continues on a slow but steady recovery path that is gradually advancing from one local market to the next.”

The IMI tracks housing markets throughout the country to see where there are signs of improving economic health. The NAHB analyzes three indicators:

*Single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau

*Employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

*House price appreciation from Freddie Mac

A metro area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six straight months from those measures’ troughs, or low points, before making the improved markets list.

In Springfield:

*Housing permits have increased 0.5 percent from the trough date of January 31, 2012.

*Home prices have grown 1.6 percent since the trough date of November 30, 2010.

*Employment has grown 1.4 percent since the trough date of April 30, 2009.

Springfield seems like a world away from the Chicago real estate market, but at least our state has hit a list of improving housing markets. Let’s hope the trend spreads north.

“Combined with recent positive reports on builder confidence, housing starts and new-home sales,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at First American Title Insurance Company, “the September IMI adds to the growing consensus that housing is finally moving in the right direction, which in turn is spurring more potential buyers to get off the fence.”

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