An industry index that reveals the number of housing markets listed as â€œimprovedâ€ dropped from 263 metros in June to 255 this month. Still, the list reflects more than triple the number of metros that were in it last year at this time, according to the National Association of Home Builders and First American Improving Markets Index.Â
The index identifies metro areas that have shown improvements in housing permits, employment, and housing prices for at least six consecutive months.Â
Fourteen metros dropped off the list in July, while six new markets were added. The newcomers added to the list were Cumberland, Md.; Saginaw, Mich.; Farmington and Las Cruces, N.M.; Kingston, N.Y.; and Olympia, Wash.Â
Meanwhile, among the 14 metros that were dropped from the list were mostly east of the Mississippi, as well as two cities each in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio.Â
Metros in 49 states are reflected in the July index.Â
â€œDespite slight ups and downs in recent IMI levels, an overwhelming majority of U.S. metros -- including those located in almost every state -- remain solidly on the path to recovery even as the pace of their improvement is slowed by ongoing challenges related to the availability of credit, labor, lots and certain building materials," says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Based on recent trends in home prices, housing permits and employment, the outlook for a continued housing expansion remains very positive for the remainder of 2013."
To view a complete list of the 255 metros on the list, visitÂ www.nahb.org/imi. Â