There are plenty of new jobs in the states in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones and in a few southern states. Idaho, Utah, and Nevada are leaders. The Pacific states of California, Oregon, and Washington as well as the southern states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are among the top ten job creating states.
Indiana is the best performer from the Midwest, while Massachusetts is the only state from the Northeast doing better than average. Energy producing states are suffering. Low oil prices have led to job cuts in Louisiana and North Dakota. West Virginia coal mining jobs are vanishing.
In terms of “momentum,” there are 36 states with stronger job conditions in the latest data compared to the prior month. This is good news regarding strengthening support for real estate in more states.
As would be expected the states with consistent and fast job gains will be the ones experiencing stronger housing market conditions. The national forecast of existing home sales is expected to rise by about 2 percent in 2016. Idaho and Utah can easily expect to surpass that national growth figure.
As for metros, the Silicon Valley in San Jose is still on fire with a 5.1 percent job growth rate. Cape Coral-Ft. Myers and Orlando are creating a bunch of jobs, possibly implying more retirees moving into Florida. Hard to explain, but Grand Rapids, Michigan has been a consistent outperformer with the latest growth rate of 3.8 percent.
As an aside, with Idaho now at the top position, the state is not only about potatoes. Though job creation is in the cities and towns, a visitor will absorb the vast empty land with many cows roaming the open range. At times, one can spot a cowboy herding cattle. One cowboy recalled his days moving the herd from Texas to Colorado and further beyond, involving steady circling to squeeze the herd into a tight space for the night, traveling through steady rain for days, cooking over an open fire, etc. He said these were the happiest days of his life. Somehow, we know this statement to be true yet most of us cannot get ourselves out of the city to live that life.
Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.