List of improving housing markets expands
The number of metropolitan areas on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) rose for a fifth consecutive month to 242 in January. This is up from 201 markets in December, and includes entrants from 48 states and the District of Columbia.
The IMI identifies metro areas that have improved from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. A total of 47 new metros were added to the list, and six were dropped this month. Newly added metros include such locations as Los Angeles; Auburn, Ala.; Des Moines, Iowa; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; and Cleveland.
“We created the improving markets list in September of 2011 to spotlight individual metros where — contrary to the national headlines — housing markets were on the mend,” said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Today, 242 out of 361 metros nationwide appear on that list, including representatives from almost every state in the country. The story is no longer about exceptions to the rule, but about the growing breadth of the housing recovery even as overly strict mortgage requirements hold back the pace of improvement.”
“The IMI has almost doubled in the past two months as stronger demand during prime home buying season boosted prices across a broader number of metropolitan areas,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “Similar home price gains, and hence the IMI, may be tempered in the future as we see data from typically slower months for home sales.”
A complete list of all 242 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI is available at nahb.org/imi.
Will Porter joins BlueTarp Financial as new CFO
Portland, Maine-based BlueTarp Financial named Will Porter as its new chief financial officer.
Porter brings more than 18 years of experience working with both public and private companies. Most recently, he served as the CFO at Signiant, a global software provider focusing on the transferring of digital files. Previously, Porter was the VP finance at Phase Forward, a data management solutions provider.
“Will has a successful track record of working with companies in high-growth environments,” said Scott Simpson, CEO of BlueTarp. “His financial, accounting and operational experiences will be invaluable for BlueTarp as we continue to increase our presence across the United States.”
The Boston-area native is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He currently resides in Walpole, Mass.
Newell Rubbermaid exec joins Aaron’s
Andrea Freeman, the former VP marketing and brand management at Newell Rubbermaid, has joined Aaron’s, the rent-to-own retailer, as VP marketing. Freeman will report directly to Aaron’s chairman, president and CEO Ronald Allen and be responsible for marketing strategy and implementation, marketing communications, research and planning, business development, and coordination with sales and other business partners on strategic initiatives.
In addition to her experience at Newell Rubbermaid, Freeman’s background includes a 10-year stint with the Coca-Cola Co.
"As a multifaceted brand, Aaron’s marketing covers a wide spectrum including sports, community outreach, military support, store growth and franchising,” said Allen. "We have been seeking an individual with the knowledge and experience to handle the intricacies of all these areas, and [Freeman] fits the bill perfectly. She has an extensive background with national consumer brands, and we are confident her expertise in innovation will lead Aaron’s in exciting new directions for 2013."
Aarons’ operates 2,050 locations and specializes in the sales and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories.