Eighty Percent of Top 100 Metros Seeing Stronger Demand for Homes Heading Into Spring
The Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) released monthly by Freddie Mac, revealed today that the housing market is continuing to stabilize with the most improving metro markets seeing stronger demand for home sales for the spring homebuying season in March 2015. Low mortgage rates are keeping payments affordable according to consumers’ incomes for the typical family in the market, in spite of strong house price appreciation.
"The nation's housing markets are getting back on track,” said Len Kiefer Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. “Better employment prospects, rising home values and increased purchase activity are all driving improvements in housing markets across the country.”
According to the data, the national MiMi value for March is 75.4. Overall, this indicates a weak housing market, but it is an improvement of 0.69 percent from February to March and a three-month improvement of 1.24 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved 3.11 percent. The MiMi value high was 121.7 and occurred in April 2006, and its low happened when the housing market was at its weakest in October 2010 at 57.4. Since that time, the national MiMi value has made a 31.3 percent turnaround.
"In this month's MiMi three more states and seven metro areas moved within range of their benchmark level of activity," Kiefer said. "However, as we've mentioned before, we're likely to see bouts of affordability shock with mortgage rate swings for the remainder of this year as market participants try to anticipate Fed timing around rising short term interest rates and expectations for global growth wax and wane."
Mimi Index Facts:
- In March, 36 of the 50 states and 77 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 40 states plus the District of Columbia, and 82 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.
- Seventeen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (95.8), the District of Columbia (95.6), Hawaii (90.5), Montana (90), and Wyoming (85.7) ranking in the top five.
- Twenty-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Honolulu (91.8), Fresno (90.5), Austin (88.8), Los Angeles (86.8) and McAllen, TX (86.4) ranking in the top five.
"The West and Southwest areas of the country are showing some of the strongest housing activity, especially markets like Portland, Denver, Dallas, San Jose and Los Angeles,” Kiefer said. “Many markets in the South and Midwest, while improving, are still plagued by high rates of mortgage delinquencies, which are holding back these markets from recovering faster.”
To view the full March 2015 MiMi report, click here.