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Freddie Mac: Indicators Show More Stability in Housing Market

Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market IndexThe U.S. housing market grew slightly more stable from October to November, with 15 states now on solid ground, according to Freddie Mac.

The company's monthly Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) improved 0.35 percent month-over-month in November to a reading of 74.7, Freddie Mac reported Wednesday. The index tracks current gauges of purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgages, and employment and measures them against their long-term stable ranges. A reading between 80 and 120 is considered to be a sign of a stable market.

November's increase pushed the index to a positive three-month growth trend of 1.07 percent.

"Overall [the] MiMi has improved for the third consecutive month showing housing markets are getting back on track," Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist, Len Kiefer, said in a statement.

According to Kiefer, the market benefited from falling mortgage costs and modest economic improvements in the latest reading.

"Low mortgage rates help to keep affordability in-check across many markets," Kiefer said. "Labor markets are strengthening, but generally have room for improvement."

Kiefer added that the company is watching changes in oil-dependent markets, which have seen "some deterioration on a month-over-month basis" as energy prices fall.

As of November, 15 states as well as the District of Columbia fell into a stable MiMi range, with North Dakota (95.8); Washington, D.C. (94.3); Montana (91.4); Wyoming (91.2); and Hawaii (89.1) leading the pack.

In addition, 34 of the 50 states are now showing an improving three-month trend, Freddie Mac said.

At the local level, eight of the 50 metro areas tracked for the index have values in a stable range, with San Antonio (89.5), Austin (87.0), Houston (85.3), Los Angeles (84.1), and Salt Lake City (83.6) looking the healthiest.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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