The National Association of Home Builders Improving Markets Index identifies metropolitan areas that have seen six consecutive months of gains in housing permits, employment, and home prices. In October, the index reached the highest number of metros recorded since the list was created in 2011. A total of 103 markets made the list, up from 99 in September. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said 11 new housing markets were added to the list in October, while 92 metros retained their spot. According to Rutenberg, the gains are an encouraging sign that the housing recovery is proceeding at a steady pace. A total of 33 states and the District of Columbia are now represented on the list. New markets added to the Index in October include Santa Cruz, Calif.; Abilene, Texas; and Savannah, Ga. More here.