By Vicki Needham - 01/07/13 05:52 PM EST
The index identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. A total of 47 new metros were added to the list and six were dropped from it this month. Newly added metros include Los Angeles; Auburn, Ala.; Des Moines, Iowa; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; and Cleveland, Ohio.
"The story is no longer about exceptions to the rule, but about the growing breadth of the housing recovery even as overly strict mortgage requirements hold back the pace of improvement," said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.