Bellingham, Kennewick, Longview, Seattle, Spokane & Yakima Housing Markets Show Marked Improvement
OLYMPIA—The list of Washington State housing markets on the January National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (NAHB/IMI) surged from three in December to six in January, reflecting a nationwide bump of 20 percent—from 201 to 242 improving metro areas. The Bellingham, Kennewick, Longview, Seattle, Spokane and Yakima housing markets are listed on the January IMI due to a marked uptick in house prices, employment and new building activity.
The index is released every month and identifies housing markets that have shown improvement for at least six consecutive months using three sets of independent monthly data: 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.
Seattle, Spokane and Yakima remain on the list from December, whereas Bellingham, Kennewick and Longview are new additions to the improving markets list.
“The industry is still struggling here in Bellingham, but it’s heartening to see a record of slow, steady improvement” said 2013 BIAW President and Bellingham General Contractor Audrey Borders. “Is there a long way to go? Absolutely. But, the widely-expanding IMI is a testament to housing’s certain, albeit slow, recovery.”
As an integral driving force for local, state and national economies, housing’s health is vital. It’s an excellent sign that Washington State boasts six of the 242 markets on the January IMI.
“It’s encouraging to see 242 out of 361 metros from almost every state in the country on the IMI this month and the largest list from Washington State thus far.” Executive Vice President of BIAW Art C astle said. “Although the immediate future of the IMI growth may be tempered as data comes in from typically slower months for home sales, these consistently-improving numbers are a boon to builder confidence and a sign of better things to come for housing in 2013.”
To access the complete list of all 242 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and a separate breakout of metros newly added to the list in January, visit: www.nahb.org/imi.