Metro Phoenix is outperforming most of the country in terms of home-prices, but employment is underwhelming and new-home permits are far below average.
That was the overall conclusion of the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index, which released a report today comparing current economic and housing conditions in about 360 metro areas with the last period of normalcy before the Great Recession.
Overall, the Valley’s economic and housing activity is running at 79 percent of normal growth, landing it in the No. 250 slot and lagging the nationwide average of 84 percent.
That overall figure is an average of three categories — home prices, new-home permits and employment — based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Census Bureau.
The index considers the last “normal” period for home prices and permitting as between 2000 and 2003, while the base comparison for employment is 2007. Each of the metro areas’ average permit, price and employment levels over the past 12 months are divided by their annual average over the last period of normal growth.
In Phoenix, home prices are exceeding 2000-03 levels by 24 percent, But current permitting levels are only one quarter of what they were during that normal period. Valley employment growth is running at 87 percent of previous norms.
Nationwide, 54 metro areas returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, excluding Phoenix.
“This index shows that most housing markets across the nation are continuing a slow, gradual climb back to normal levels,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said in a prepared statement.