Jacksonville added to list of improving housing markets in September

After missing out in the previous month, Jacksonville has been added to a list of improving housing markets across the country, according to the National Association of Home Builders and First American. Families and prospective homebuyers should consider looking at the growing market for real estate in Jacksonville.

The Improving Markets Index (IMI) identified metropolitan areas that have shown improvements across the board in several key metrics over a six month period. The three measures included in the study were increases in the number of single-family housing permits issued, changes in home prices and employment growth. There were 99 metros that were deemed improving housing markets in September, up from 80 in August. Jacksonville was one of the new markets added to the list.

The number of single-family housing permits issued in Jacksonville increased by 1.7 percent. Employment rates in the city demonstrated even stronger improvement, jumping up by 1.9 percent. However, the prices of homes for sale in the city showed meager gains, increasing by only 0.2 percent.

"The number of improving housing markets grew by 19 in September as 68 metros regained their spots, 31 new metros were added and just 12 dropped off the list," Barry Rutenberg, the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Gainesville, Florida, said in a statement. "This solid growth is an encouraging sign that housing continues on a slow but steady recovery path that is gradually advancing from one local market to the next."

The increase in the number of housing markets deemed to be on an upward trend is indicative of an overall optimistic outlook on the housing market around the country. According to the Fannie Mae august 2012 National Housing Survey, the expectation of rising home prices have led many American homebuyers and local real estate experts to adopt a cautiously optimistic long-term outlook. This is despite an overall pessimistic mood about the direction of the overall economy.

According to the survey, respondents expect home prices to increase by 1.6 percent over the next year. The percentage of respondents who believe that now is a good time to purchase a home remained at a steady high of 73 percent.