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Strongest Housing Gains Seen Down South

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Two more states, Mississippi and Maryland, as well as eight metro areas recently entered their historic benchmark levels of housing activity, according to the recently released Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). These additional metros are Louisville, Ken.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Allentown, Penn.; Omaha, Neb.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Detroit, Mich.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Lakeland, Fla.

“Nationally, MiMi in May registered 85, a 7.3 percent year-over-year increase and the 49th consecutive month of year-over-year increases,” says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “Many of the Western markets continue to see strong home sales. However, it’s the Southern states where MiMi continues to register some of the strongest gains buoyed by an improving employment picture. For example, the majority of Southern states showed stronger employment growth than the national average and all of the eight markets in Florida that MiMi tracks are now back to their historic benchmark levels of housing activity.”

The national MiMi value stands at 85, indicating a housing market that’s on the outer range of its historic benchmark level of housing activity, with a +1.05 percent improvement from April to May and a three-month improvement of +2.39 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +7.30 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 43 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.

Thirty-eight of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with Hawaii (97.8), Oregon (97.1), Utah (96.9), Montana (96.6) and Colorado (96.4) ranking in the top five with their scores closest to their historical benchmark index level of 100.
Seventy-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values within range, with Honolulu, HI (99.8), Salt Lake City, Utah (100.2), Los Angeles, Calif. (99.6), Nashville, Tenn. (101.5), and Portland, Ore. (98.4) ranking in the top five with their scores closest to their historical benchmark index level of 100.

The most improving states month over month were North Carolina (+1.85 percent), Georgia (+1.82 percent), Florida (+1.69 percent), Mississippi (+1.65 percent) and Tennessee (+1.60 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+14.73 percent), Oregon (+14.64 percent), Colorado (+13.68 percent), Nevada (+12.36 percent) and New Jersey (+12.23 percent).

The most improving metro areas month over month were Chattanooga, Tenn. (+3.45 percent); Orlando, Fla. (+2.50 percent); Detroit, Mich. (+2.39 percent); and Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro, S.C.; and Palm Bay, Fla. all improving (+2.24 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+20.25 percent); Tampa, Fla. (+17.27 percent); Denver, Colo. (+16.20 percent); Cape Coral, Fla. (+15.51 percent); and Palm Bay, Fla. (+15.29).

In May, 45 of the 50 states and 88 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 46 of the 50 states, and all of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

For more information, visit www.freddiemac.com.

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