Mesa County makes list of improving housing markets

Mesa County once again appears on a list of improving housing markets compiled by the National Association of Home Builders.

The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) identifies areas that have shown improvement from recent lows in housing permits, home prices and employment for at least six consecutive months.

According to the index results for June, the number of single-family building permits issued in Mesa County has increased 5.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted monthly average basis from a low in June 2011. Home prices have increased 8.4 percent since a low in July 2011. And payroll employment has increased 2.9 percent since a low in January 2010.

With the single exception of Pueblo, all six metropolitan areas of Colorado made the list in June. Boulder, Fort Collins and Greeley were included on the list for much of 2012, while Grand Junction and Greeley were added earlier this year.

The total number of U.S. housing markets deemed on the mend rose by five to 263 in June, the NAHB announced. While 29 new markets were added to the list, 24 others were dropped.

“This is the fifth consecutive month in which the IMI has designated more than 70 percent of U.S. metros as improving,” said Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C., who serves as chairman of the NAHB.  “While that’s a good sign that the housing recovery is on solid footing, we know that various challenges are slowing its progress — including continuing issues with credit availability for builders and buyers as well as appraisals that aren’t keeping up with the rising cost of construction.”

David Crowe, chief economist of the NAHB, said, “As market conditions improve across most of the country, some metros have moved onto the IMI list while marginal seasonal fluctuations have nudged others off of it. This is to be expected as the recovery expands. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the number of improving markets is now more than three times what it was in June 2012.”