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February 25, 2015

U.S. Housing Market Showed a 4.4 Percent Improvement in 2014

Research and Analysis

The newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) shows the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize at the national level for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80 percent of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. We've even seen the MiMi purchase application indicator increase 0.07 percent on a year-over-year basis. Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.

As we mentioned last month, we're keeping an eye on markets with deep ties to energy. We've seen some deterioration on a month-over-month basis in some of these energy markets. For example, Louisiana has seen its state employment situation deteriorate over the last several months. A declining employment indicator has caused its MiMi score to move from 87 in April down to 80.2.

The national MiMi value stands at 74.9, still indicating a weak housing market overall but showing a slight improvement (+0.37%) from November to December and a positive 3-month trend of (+1.09%). On a year-over-year basis, the U.S. housing market has improved 4.4%. The nation’s all-time MiMi high of 121.7 was April 2006; its low was 57.2 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the housing market has made a 31 percent rebound.

    • Sixteen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (97.6), North Dakota (97.2), Montana (91.1), Hawaii (89.9) and Wyoming (89.1) ranking in the top five.
    • Eleven of the 50 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Los Angeles (86.4), Austin (86.3), San Jose (83.9), Houston (83.3), and Pittsburgh (83.3) ranking in the top five.
    • The most improving states month-over-month were Delaware (+1.87%), Michigan (+1.28%), North Carolina (+1.18%), Oregon (+1.18%) and Texas (+0.85%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+19.87%), Colorado (+11.42%), Rhode Island (10.52%), Illinois (+10.14%), and Ohio (+9.27%)
    • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Detroit (+1.40%), Tampa (+1.28), Kansas City (+1.13%), Louisville (+1.12%), and Charlotte (1.04%). On a year-over-year basis the most improving metro areas were Las Vegas (+19.76%), Denver (+12.14%), Chicago (+10.93%), Providence (+10.35%) and Columbus (+9.36%).

Explore how your metro or state’s housing market is performing, or even compare  markets in more detail.

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