Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released its newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index(SM) (MiMi(SM)) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to plod along with most markets still generally weak, while those with stronger local economies and favorable demographics continue to improve at a much stronger pace. The second quarter MiMi report is also available, which includes further analysis on each of the states, plus the District of Columbia as well as the top 50 metros areas.
- The national MiMi value stands at 73.7, indicating a weak housing market overall with only a slight improvement (0.04%) from May to June and a 3-month positive trend change of (0.16%). On a year-over-year basis, the U.S. housing market has improved by 7.67%. The nation’s all-time MiMi high of 121.87 was June 2008; its low was 59.8 in September, 2011, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the housing market has made a 23.3 percent rebound.
- Thirteen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (96.2) the District of Columbia (94.3), Wyoming (92.3), Montana (89.7) and Alaska (88.7) ranking in the top five.
- Six of the 50 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with San Antonio (92.0), Austin (87.4), New Orleans (84.8), Salt Lake City (84.5), and Houston (83.9) ranking in the top five.
- The most improving states month-over-month were Nevada (+1.56%), Illinois (+1.09%), Connecticut (+0.93%), Rhode Island (+0.87%) and Colorado and Kentucky (tied at +0.82%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+23.5%), Florida (+14.8%), Illinois (+12.9%), California (12.0%) and South Carolina (+11.9%).
- The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Las Vegas and Riverside (tied at +1.69%) followed by San Jose (+1.48%), Chicago (+1.30%) and Miami (+1.19%). On a year-over-year basis the most improving metro areas were Las Vegas (+26.5%), Riverside, (+19.2%), Miami (+17.2%), Orlando (+16.1%) and Chicago (+15.9%).
- In June, 21 of the 50 states and 25 of the 50 metros are showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, every state plus the District of Columbia, and every metro was showing an improving three month trend.
Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft:
“As we see the economy slowly normalizing we’re starting to see its effects in the housing market as well, albeit very slowly. The good news is the big housing markets, of which some were also the hardest hit, continue to improve. For example, from the same time last year, California is up 12 percent and every market MiMi tracks in the state is improving. Meanwhile, Florida is up nearly 15 percent and Illinois is up nearly 13 percent over the past year. Likewise, the stalwarts of the recovery continue to be those states in the North Central section of the country, places like North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and then south to Texas and Louisiana. In these areas not only are markets producing jobs, but better paying jobs that translate into workers taking out applications to purchase a home and income growth that keeps homebuyer affordability strong.”
Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:
“With this release of MiMi we’re including our first quarterly report, which provides further analysis beyond the monthly MiMi release. For example, the most improved metro and state markets over the quarter were Las Vegas and Illinois which were up nearly 5 and 4 percent respectively. Though Las Vegas has shown considerable improvement, it is still a weak market, with the lowest overall MiMi index value of 48.2 as of June. Driving the improvement in Illinois over the past three months is the Employment Indicator which is up 16.9 percent while the Current on Mortgage Indicator is up 3.8 percent since March. In fact, the Employment Indicator in Illinois (87.8) moved from Weak to its stable In Range status over the past quarter, reflecting improvements in local labor market conditions.”
With the latest release of MiMi, the index has been rescaled, making the data more transparent and easier for housing professionals and analysts to follow. The rankings of states and metropolitan areas are unchanged. The underlying data and basic methodology are also unchanged. This release also makes it easier to identify the most improving state and metro markets on a monthly basis.
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 50 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.