Number of Improving Housing Markets Soars

The number of improving housing markets grew by 76 in December to a total of 201, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Market Index.

The index identifies U.S. metro areas that have shown improvement in home sales, employment, and housing values for at least the past six months.

Some of the new markets added to this month’s improving list include Atlanta; Bloomington, Ill.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Seattle; and Green Bay, Wis.

"The big gain in improving markets this December indicates that key measures of housing and economic strength have now been holding steady or improving in metros across the country for six months or more, which is an important signal of stability amidst the slowly emerging recovery," says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. "The main thing that's limiting the progress we're seeing right now is the difficulty that potential buyers continue to experience with regard to overly tight mortgage qualifying standards."

To view a complete list of the metros on the list, visit

Source: National Association of Home Builders