MCLEAN, VA - Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), showing that many of the nation's housing markets continue to improve with one more state, Michigan, returning to its historical benchmark level of housing activity.
The national MiMi value stands at 83, indicating a housing market that's on the outer range of its historic benchmark level of housing activity, and little changed with a +0.36 percent improvement from January to February and a three-month improvement of +1.05 percent. However, on a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +7.46 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 40 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.
Thirty-five of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with the District of Columbia (101.7), North Dakota (95.3), Hawaii (95.2), Montana (94.8) and Utah (94.6) ranking in the top five.
Fifty-nine of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values within range with Austin, TX (100.5), Denver, CO (100.8), Salt Lake City, UT (97.7), Honolulu, HI (97.4), and Los Angeles, CA (97.0) ranking in the top five.
The most improving states month over month were Tennessee (+1.93%), Mississippi (+1.46%), Texas (+1.11%), Oregon (+1.08%) and Nevada (+0.91%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Colorado (+15.54%), Florida (+15.33%), New Jersey (+14.37%), Oregon (+14.30%), and Nevada (+14.24%).
The most improving metro areas month over month were Youngstown, OH (+3.55%), Memphis, TN (+2.54%), Jackson, MS (+1.82%), Knoxville, TN (+1.58%) and Dallas, TX (+1.43%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+19.88%), Denver, CO (+19.01%), Tampa, FL (+18.36%), Cape Coral, FL (+18.07%), and Portland, OR (+16.85).
In February, 36 of the 50 states and 68 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 21 of the 50 states, and 69 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.
Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer stated, "The U.S. housing market is poised to have its best year in a decade. The National MiMi currently stands at 83, the highest since September of 2008. And the trends are nearly all positive. Home purchase applications are headed higher, with the National MiMi purchase applications indicator increasing nearly 12 percent from one year ago. The mortgage delinquency crisis is not completely behind us, but delinquencies are generally trending down, with the National MiMi current on mortgage indicator at 85.5, the highest reading since August 2008. Robust employment growth has helped drive the National MiMi employment indicator above its historic benchmark, and stands at 106.5, up nearly 6 percent from a year ago. The National MiMi payment-to-income indicator did fall 2.76 percent from the previous month due to lower mortgage interest rates. Lower rates are helping to support homebuyer affordability across the country, for the moment outweighing the impact of higher house prices.”
Kiefer continued, "The national trends largely hold up across the country. We still see pockets of weakness in the Midwest and South, while the Northeast and West are generally doing better. But most markets in the Midwest and South are improving according to MiMi. For example, Michigan's MiMi reading increased 7.49 percent year-over-year in February, moving within range of its historic benchmark."