WASHINGTON – Feb. 24, 2016 – Freddie Mac's monthly Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) finds that two states – Florida and Arizona – have entered their outer range of stable housing activity.
MiMi attempts to judge housing market fundamentals – the "sweet spot" for balance – calling those markets "in range." To come up with a MiMi score, Freddie Mac says it "draws from multiple data sources, including our daily business with more than 2,000 mortgage lenders" and local market data.
According to the latest December 2015 MiMi score, Florida's index hit 80.1. Freddie considers a score between 80 and 120 to be "in range." It finds Florida "in range and improving" with a score that rose 1.39 percent over the previous month and 3.62 percent over the previous three months.
On a year-over-year basis, Freddie Mac found Florida to be the most improving state, with a MiMi score increase of 16.59 percent. Compared to Florida's score during the depth of the recession (October 2010), the MiMi score today is 98.8 percent higher.
On the metro level, several Florida cities have improved greatly, with Orlando making the MiMi list for most improved metro area both month-to-month and year-to-year.
Nationwide, the MiMi purchase applications indicator improved by nine percent in 2015 for its best showing since September 2013. The national MiMi value stands at 82.7, indicating a housing market on the outer range of stable.
"At the start of 2015, MiMi showed the national housing market in a weak position, but by the end of the year it … is just inside the stable range of housing activity," says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. He calls the latest score good news, but says there's more work to be done.
Kiefer calls a solid increase in purchase applications one positive sign, with "borrowers being current on their mortgage" a second positive trend. And "what's really anchoring this recovering housing market is the improving employment picture, which is giving more people the confidence to purchase a home, including first-time homebuyers," he adds.
MiMi Dec. 2015 findings