Freddie Mac, the giant quasi government agency that provides mortgage capital to lenders, today released its inaugural Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index. MiMi is a new tool that monitors and measures the stability of the nation's housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 50 metro markets. MiMi assesses where each market is relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture.
In the ranking just issued today, Nashville is shown doing well; not great, but better than many. Nashville is ranked 13th out of 50 Metro areas. Memphis, the only other Tennessee metro area in the top 50 areas is ranked at 45th. The top three slots are all in Texas: San Antonio, Houston and Austin. At number 4 is New Orleans. My daughter lives in New Orleans now and I had an occasion to visit for a month last fall. While there are still areas not recovered from Katrina, New Orleans has attracted lots of newcomers and there is a lot of rebuilding and gentrification going on. Still, I am surprised to see it rank so high.
Detroit which, as we know, has large section of the city that have been abandoned or burned by arsonist and looks like something out a science fiction movie about life after the apocalypse, ranks at 36. I expected it to be at the bottom. Las Vegas comes in at number 50. All 50 metro areas and all states are shown to be improving.
In the state ranking, which includes the District of Columbia, Tennessee ranks 31st of 51. The oil boom state of North Dakota ranks number one, followed by the District of Columbia. I guess government is always a growth area and booms while the rest of the nation suffers. Other top states are Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana and Montana and South Dakota. At the bottom of the list is Nevada.