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Palmetto State shows one of top housing market improvements from summer

  • Updated

Heading into fall, South Carolina posted one of the best month-over-month gains in the U.S. in terms of housing stability, a Freddie Mac report says.

The federally established company charged with helping to keep homes financially reachable to all types of buyers came out with its Multi-Indicator Market Index showing the U.S. housing market “continuing to slowly stabilize.”

The national Multi-Indicator Market Index stands at 81.2, “indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity,” Freddie Mac says. The index improved 0.27 percent from July to August and showed a three-month jump of 2.54 percent, according to the findings, released in late October.

Year-over-year, the national index value rose 6.16 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the index rebounded 37 percent but remains off its all-time high of 121.7.

Freddie Mac findings include:

• The most improved states month-over-month were Ohio, up 1.30 percent; South Carolina, up 1.20 percent; New Jersey, with a 0.97 percent rise; Colorado, up 0.92 percent; and Georgia, with an 0.83 percent increase.

• Year-over-year, Florida led with a 14.07 percent surge.

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• Twenty-nine of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have index values in a stable range.

• In August, 48 of the 50 states and 98 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend. The same time last year, 35 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 71 of the top 100 metro areas were picking up the pace during the summer quarter.

“The nation’s housing market continues to improve, riding the wave of the best year in home sales since 2007,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “We expect home sales to remain strong. Low mortgage rates are fueling the recovery across the country,” he says.

“Buoyed by strong employment growth, housing supply is struggling to keep pace with demand, which is driving house prices higher. Fortunately, low mortgage interest rates are helping to keep home buying affordable for some prospective home buyers,” according to Kiefer. “Nationwide, housing markets are getting back to their long term benchmark averages, but they still have room for improvement. We’re expecting housing to sustain its momentum going into yearend, but we’re going to need stronger income growth to carry housing throughout 2016,” he says.

The Multi-Indicator Market Index “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 100 metro markets,” Freddie Mac says. “A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity,” the entity notes.

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Congress established Freddie Mac in 1970 “to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets,” the company says.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or

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