The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) reached a new high of 291 in September. The addition of 49 markets was also the largest number new to the list since December 2012 when 84 markets were added. Five markets were dropped, four because of a fall back in prices and one because of a dip in permits.
The large increase in new markets on the list can be attributed to several changes. First, the house price index used for each metropolitan area is calculated by Freddie Mac. After some additional study, the Freddie Mac economist improved the accuracy of their index and the change in methodology increased the rate of appreciation in 89% of the metros on the list. The metro areas that were on the list in August and September recorded an average house price increase of 3.3% from August to September.
The increase could also be due in…
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