Grand Rapids a leader in improving markets
Lansing, MI — Grand Rapids, Lansing and Monroe, Michigan are among leaders in the latest National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. This is the second consecutive month that local markets in Michigan qualified for the IMI. Ann Arbor and Muskegon were listed on the IMI index in December.
“There is a growing sense of momentum in the housing market across Michigan which is reflected in the trends the Improving Markets Index has identified,” said Robert Filka, CEO of the Michigan Association of Home Builders. “We were seeing some pockets of success here and there, but now we are beginning to experience more consistent, sustained improvement in markets such as Grand Rapids, Lansing and Monroe.”
“More consumers are looking more favorably at a home purchase in light of today’s historically low interest rates and attractive prices,” said Bill Roersma, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids. “As the general economy continues to improve, there is good reason for optimism as we look forward to the next few months in homebuilding.”
“After many years of low building activity and a corresponding decline in inventory, we are beginning to experience increased building activity,” said David Swartout, president of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Monroe County. “The housing industry is critical to Michigan’s success, and our homebuilders are eager to do their part to help lead the state back to greatness.”
The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
The three indicators that are analyzed are 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. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metro area must see improvement in all three areas for at least six months following their respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.