Improving markets list totals 258 metros
The number of U.S. housing markets showing improvement in three key measures fell to 258 in May from 273 in April, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This total includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The IMI identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Four new markets were added to the list, and 19 were dropped from it this month. Newcomers include the metros of Dothan, Ala.; Elizabethtown, Ky.; Salisbury, Md.; and Salem, Ore.
“The fact that over 70% of all U.S. metros are holding onto their spots on the improving list is definitely good news, and representative of the generally brightening outlook for housing markets nationwide,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “That said, our industry’s progress on the road to recovery is being slowed by rising challenges related to the availability of credit, building materials, labor and lots for development.”
The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A complete list of all 258 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in May, is available at www.nahb.org/imi.
Radius Garden to market Miracle-Gro tools
Radius Garden has announced it is marketing and selling a line of Miracle-Gro Branded Garden Tools under a licensing agreement with Scotts Miracle-Gro.
Bruce Baker, founder and president of Radius Garden said, "Miracle-Gro is a true household name, and we are excited to develop, market, and sell our innovative and unique tools with this great brand. We have launched a line of our patented ergonomic hand tools, and are proud to report we have national distribution with Ace Hardware, True Value and Do it Best Corp., as well as with many lawn and garden distributors."
Radius Garden will feature the Miracle-Gro garden tools in its booth at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas at Booth 11250.
Homeowners motivated to spend
With the housing market slowly bouncing back in many communities, homeowners are looking to make improvements to their properties.
That theory is playing out in a new survey from CouponCabin.com. It reveals that nearly one-third (32%) of U.S. homeowners feel the improving economy is motivating them to make home improvements that they wouldn’t have done during the recession. Overall, more than 6-in-10 (64%) U.S. homeowners report they are at least somewhat likely to make home renovations or improvements like re-tiling a floor, installing new carpet or redoing a bathroom in the next 12 months.
Seasonality can also be a factor in motivating homeowners to spruce up their abodes. Nearly 9-in-10 (87%) feel spring is the ideal time to make home renovations or improvements. Home improvement stores are bound to be busy in the months to come, as 82% of those U.S. homeowners who plan to make home renovations or improvements in the next 12 months will shop at a home improvement store, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.
“Many homeowners have held off on home improvements over the past few years, but are cautiously making changes as the economy strengthens,” said Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at CouponCabin.com. “It’s important for homeowners to carefully approach projects and choose to do renovations that are most likely to raise the value of their home overall.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin.com from April 3-5, 2013, among 2,232 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,389 are homeowners.