Atlanta Summer StaycationHere’s some good news for your Friday, the Atlanta real estate market was one of 76 additions to the December Improving Markets Index (IMI) compiled by the National Association of Home Builders. With this surge of new market additions, the number of metropolitan markets listed is now at 201. The number of states represented has also increased from 38 to 44.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, house prices and employment for at least six consecutive months. Independent monthly data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Freddie Mac and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are compiled as determining factors.

“The big gain in improving markets this December indicates that key measures of housing and economic strength have now been holding steady or improving in metros across the country for six months or more, which is an important signal of stability amidst the slowly emerging recovery,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “The main thing that’s limiting the progress we’re seeing right now is the difficulty that potential buyers continue to experience with regard to overly tight mortgage qualifying standards.”

Other metropolitan areas in Georgia making the list include Albany, Athens, Gainesville and Savannah.

“The dramatic expansion of improving markets at the end of this year should help encourage consumers who may have been on the fence about a home purchase that a housing recovery is now firmly underway,” added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.

To view a complete list of all 201 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, visit For more information on the National Association of Home Builders, visit

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