A recent article in National Mortgage Professional Magazine released a RealtyTrac analysis of housing market health in 410 U.S. counties in two-year increments over the past eight years, finding that “96 percent of county housing markets are better off than they were four years ago when foreclosures peaked in 2010, but only eight percent of county housing markets are better off than they were eight years ago in 2006 before the housing price bubble burst.”
This finding suggests that the majority of housing markets are healthier now than there were in 2012, when median home prices were at their lowest. As much as 30 percent of housing markets are better off than in 2008.
For its data, the analysis considered four different factors attributable to housing market health: home price appreciation, affordability, percentage of bank-owned REO sales and the unemployment rate. 410 counties were analyzed, which accounts for about 63 percent of the population.
Foreclosure activity peaked in 2010, with more than one million homes lost to foreclosure that year. In 2013, less than half that number of homes were repossessed, indicating that the housing market recovery is finally taking shape.
Findings Reinforce Recent NAHB Report Indicating Market Stabilization
The results of Realty Trac’s analysis reinforce the National Association of Homebuilders’ recent report that out of 350 metro areas, 59 housing markets have returned to or have exceeded their last normal level of economic and housing activity before the recession.
These findings correlate with the increasing level of transactions and activity our firm has seen in connection with our representation of homebuilders nationwide, which, while not nearly at the pace we experienced at the market’s peak, has been growing steadily over the past 18 months.