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New index tracks metros with growth in real estate prices, permits and jobs

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Editor's note: This article is republished with permission of Builder magazine. View the original article: "NAHB Launches New Index to Track Improving Markets." By CLAIRE EASLEY After enduring what has seemed like an endless string of dismal numbers reports, the housing industry is about to get some good news. Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) launched the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), dedicated entirely to tracking metropolitan areas that have consistently shown signs of improvement. To make the list, a metro area must have shown at least six months of improvement from its trough in three areas the NAHB sees as key to determining the pulse of the housing market: housing permits, employment, and home prices. To be released monthly, the index will draw its data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for employment growth numbers, house-price appreciation data from Freddie Mac, and single-family permit numbers from the U....