SOURCE: Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac

November 30, 2016 10:00 ET

U.S. Housing Markets Steady with Significant Room for Improvement

MCLEAN, VA--(Marketwired - Nov 30, 2016) - Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released its Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®), showing the majority of the top 100 largest housing markets across the country improving steadily, while helping to produce the best year in homes sales in a decade.

The national MiMi value stands at 86, indicating a housing market that's on the outer edge of its historic benchmark range of housing activity with a +0.42 percent improvement from August to September and a three-month improvement of +1.61 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value improved +5.56 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 45 percent, but remains significantly off its high of 121.7. 

News Facts:

  • Forty-one of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with Utah (100.4), Colorado (97.8), Hawaii (97), Idaho (96.7) and North Dakota and Oregon at (95.8) ranking in the top five with scores closest to their historical benchmark index levels of 100.
  • Seventy-six of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages, with Honolulu, HI (99.8), Nashville, TN (100.2), Ogden, UT (99.3), Dallas, TX (99.2) and Provo, UT (101), ranking in the top five with scores closest to their historical benchmark index levels of 100.
  • The most improving states month over month were Nevada (+2.59%), Arizona (+1.54%), Massachusetts (+1.53%), South Carolina (+1.34%) and Colorado (+1.24%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+11.74%), Florida (+11.58%), Massachusetts (+11.35%), Mississippi (+9.76%) and New Jersey (+9.61%).
  • The most improving metro areas month over month were Las Vegas, NV (+2.57%), Charleston, SC (+2.00%), Seattle, WA (+1.76%), Worcester, MA (+1.74%) and Springfield, MA (+1.52%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+17.85%), Worcester, MA (+14.49%) Tampa, FL (+14.36%), Chattanooga, TN (+14.20%), and Dallas, TX (+13.89%).
  • In September, 40 of the 50 states and 75 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 46 states and 96 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

"The National MiMi stands at 86, a 5.6 percent year-over-year increase, but still below its historic benchmark normalized to 100. The purchase applications indicator is up nearly 19 percent from last year, indicating strong housing demand and a market that's poised to close out the best year in home sales in a decade.

"National home prices have surpassed their pre-recession nominal peak with about half of states still below their pre-recession peak. Factoring in low mortgage rates and modest income gains, house prices still have some room to run, as indicated by the MiMi payment-to-income indicator which is nearly 33 percent below its historic benchmark.

"However, the recent jump in mortgage rates will drive down homebuyer affordability and likely dampen demand for home sales next year. Though we've come far, as indicated in the national statistics, housing still has significant room for improvement in many markets across the country as indicated by the fact that 24 out of the top 100 metros are still more than 20 percent below their historic benchmark as measured by MiMi."

The 2016 MiMi release calendar is available online.

MiMi monitors and measures the stability of the nation's housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 100 metro markets. MiMi combines proprietary Freddie Mac data with current local market data to assess where each single-family housing market is relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture. The four indicators are combined to create a composite MiMi value for each market. Monthly, MiMi uses this data to show, at a glance, where each market stands relative to its own stable range of housing activity. MiMi also indicates how each market is trending, whether it is moving closer to, or further away from, its stable range. A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity.

For more detail on MiMi see the FAQs. The most current version can be found at FreddieMac.com/mimi

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for approximately one in four home borrowers and is the largest source of financing for multifamily housing. Additional information is available at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac's blog FreddieMac.com/blog.