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100 Housing Markets Listed as Improving in May + Builder Confidence Up in 55+ Housing Market

The latest reading of the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) shows the list holding fairly steady at 100 metros in May. This list counts representatives from 34 states and the District of Columbia, including such geographically diverse newcomers as Phoenix, Ariz.; Bowling Green, Ky.; Bend, Ore.; and Lubbock, Texas. In all, 83 markets held onto their spots on the IMI this time around, while 18 metros dropped from the list and 17 were added, for a net loss of one from April's total of 101. According to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, “The overall number of markets on the IMI continued to plateau this month, with more than a quarter of all U.S. metros still showing signs of improvement. Many of these are relatively small markets in terms of their population and building volume, which is why their improvement is barely registering on the national scale as of yet. Moreover, we are seeing some shifting of markets on and off the list primarily due to small seasonal house price changes in areas that have had flat, stable prices rather than a boom-and-bust cycle.” Readers of this report will remember that the IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac, and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. A metropolitan area must see improvement in all three areas for at least six months following their respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list. A complete list of all 100 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in May, is available at

Builder Confidence Up in 55+ Housing Market

Builder confidence in the 55+ market for single-family homes showed a significant increase in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest NAHB 55+ Housing Market Index released on May 10. The index for single-family homes gained 10 points to 27 in the first quarter -- still relatively low for a gauge on which 50 is the midpoint, but the highest level seen since the 50+HMI was introduced in 2008. Each of the index's components registered significant gains from a year ago, and each recorded new record highs. The component measuring present sales conditions rose 12 points to 27, while the component measuring expected sales in the next six months gained eight points to 32 and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose nine points to 26. Although the 55+ multifamily condo HMI remains the weakest of the 55+ housing market indices, it also recorded an all-time high at 15, up seven points from a year ago. All of that index's components registered gains from the same time last year, with the present sales component up five points to 14, the component gauging expected sales in the next six months up seven points to 20 and the measure of traffic of prospective buyers up nine points to 15. Not surprsingly, 55+ multifamily rentals continue to lead the way in the overall 55+ housing market. On that index, the component measuring current production climbed 11 points to 31, while the component measuring expected future production increased eight points to 35, the gauge measuring current demand for existing units rose three points to 42 and the component measuring expected future demand increased one point to 45. Choose From More Than 400 House Designs and House Plans We offer house designs in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and Palladian homes, English Manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and Colonial house plans. Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 13,600 sf. Our Newport Classics house designs are gentrified New England-style cottages that range from 1500 to 5000 square feet. Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world. Please feel free to search our house designs or browse our photo gallery to get a sense of the many styles and types of house designs we offer. Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one plan could be just for you!

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  • Joanne Loftus
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