59 Metros Back to Normal

59 Metros Back to Normal

According to National Association of Home Builders/First American’s latest Leading Markets Index, 59 out of 350 housing markets across the country have returned to, or exceeded their last normal level of housing and economic activity.

Markets nationwide are running at around 87% of their normal economic and housing activity. The Leading Markets Index evaluates metro areas to see if they’re getting close to, or even exceeding, their previous levels of normal activity. This factors in average single-family permits, home prices, and employment levels for the past 12 months and then compares it to that market’s past levels.

At the top of the list of major metros is Baton Rouge, L.A. which is now performing at a 41% higher rate than its previous levels of activity. Some other top markets include: Oklahoma City; Honolulu; Austin and Houston, Texas; and Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All of those markets are experiencing more activity than in the past.

There are also some smaller metros that are experiencing double their activity in comparison to activity prior the recession, like Odessa, Texas and Midland, Texas. Some other strong smaller metros are: Casper, Wyoming; Bismarck, North Dakota; and Grand Folks, North Dakota.

David Crowe, a chief economist for NAHB, says, “The strong energy sector is at the forefront of the recovery and centered in many small and mid-sized markets in Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and Wyoming. In fact, these four states account for eight of the top 10 markets on the LMI and 45 percent of the markets that are at or above normal.”