Freddie Mac: Indicators Show More Stability in Housing Market

by Tory Barringer On January 28, 2015 @ 5:38 pm

image001The U.S. housing market grew slightly more stable from October to November, with 15 states now on solid ground, according to Freddie Mac.

The company’s monthly Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) improved 0.35 percent month-over-month in November to a reading of 74.7, Freddie Mac reported Wednesday. The index tracks current gauges of purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgages, and employment and measures them against their long-term stable ranges. A reading between 80 and 120 is considered to be a sign of a stable market.

November’s increase pushed the index to a positive three-month growth trend of 1.07 percent.

“Overall [the] MiMi has improved for the third consecutive month showing housing markets are getting back on track,” Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist, Len Kiefer, said in a statement.

According to Kiefer, the market benefited from falling mortgage costs and modest economic improvements in the latest reading.

“Low mortgage rates help to keep affordability in-check across many markets,” Kiefer said. “Labor markets are strengthening, but generally have room for improvement.”

Kiefer added that the company is watching changes in oil-dependent markets, which have seen “some deterioration on a month-over-month basis” as energy prices fall.

As of November, 15 states as well as the District of Columbia fell into a stable MiMi range, with North Dakota (95.8); Washington, D.C. (94.3); Montana (91.4); Wyoming (91.2); and Hawaii (89.1) leading the pack.

In addition, 34 of the 50 states are now showing an improving three-month trend, Freddie Mac said.

At the local level, eight of the 50 metro areas tracked for the index have values in a stable range, with San Antonio (89.5), Austin (87.0), Houston (85.3), Los Angeles (84.1), and Salt Lake City (83.6) looking the healthiest.

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