Bellingham added to national index of improved housing markets

Bellingham’s housing market is a new addition this month to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index.

In January, the number of Washington state markets included in the index doubled from three to six, according to the Building Industry Association of Washington. Nationwide, the index grew 20 percent this month, from 201 to 242 improving metro areas.

In Washington, the Bellingham, Kennewick, Longview, Seattle, Spokane and Yakima housing markets made the index in January due to improvements in housing prices, employment and new building activity, according to the BIAW.

Kennewick and Longview joined Bellingham as new additions to the index.

“The industry is still struggling here in Bellingham, but it’s heartening to see a record of slow, steady improvement” said Audrey Borders, BIAW president and Bellingham-based general contractor, in a press release.

The monthly index identifies housing markets that have shown improvement for at least six consecutive months using three sets of data: employment growth from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, house-price appreciation from the government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac, and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The National Association of Home Builders is online at www.nahb.org.

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