NAHB Housing Survey Says Baton Rouge Is the Best-Performing Major Metro in the U.S.

Last week, the National Association of Home Builders/First American released its latest Leading Markets Index report. According to the new data, Baton Rouge continues to be one of the best-performing post-recession housing markets in the nation, and the best among the largest U.S. metro areas.

Last week, the National Association of Home Builders/First American released its latest Leading Markets Index report. According to the new data, Baton Rouge continues to be one of the best-performing post-recession housing markets in the nation, and the best among the largest U.S. metro areas.

The NAHB used employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation data from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permits from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate the LMI quarterly report. It tracks about 350 metro areas in the nation and compares their current performances to the levels registered before the last recession.

According to the LMI report for the second quarter of 2014, just 56 of the markets in the nation returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity. This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets. The index’s nationwide score moved up slightly to 0.89 in Q2. This means that the U.S. housing market is currently running at 89 percent of its normal economic and housing activity, and has not yet returned to its pre-recession levels.

Baton Rouge, however, has an index score of 1.39 for the second quarter of 2014. During the months of April, May and June, the market performed 39 percent better than it did before the economic crisis. The Baton Rouge metro area housing market also registered great performances in the first quarter of the year, when it had an index score of 1.42.

The list of top 10 best-performing major metros in the nation also includes Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, as well as nearby New Orleans. As for the top 10 smaller metros, these are Odessa and Midland, in Texas, with scores of 2.0 or better, Bismarck and Grand Forks, in North Dakota, and Casper, Wyoming.

“Things are gradually improving,” NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly said in a statement for the press. “As the job market grows, we expect to see a steady release of pent up demand of home buyers.”