Nationwide’s Health of Housing Markets Report


Select a quarter and then press “Play” to initiate the interactive map. To get the performance ranking for a specific MSA, zoom in or scroll over the map or click on the numerical ranking legend for wider comparisons.

Next Release: Scheduled for Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

2018Q1 HoHM Report: Low housing inventory heading into selling season

  • The national LIHHM* edged lower this quarter as unsustainably rapid house price appreciation weakened the outlook for the U.S. housing market. The overall ranking remains positive, however, as household formations have been very strong, supported by a solid labor market.
  • The inventory of existing homes for sale recently fell to an all-time low, constraining sales and housing availability. Ultra-low inventory levels are cutting days on the market for sellers while pushing up prices for homebuyers.
  • In the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes, delinquency rates spiked along the Gulf Coast of Texas and throughout Florida. This lowered the scores for these MSAs, with the Houston area slipping into the bottom 10 list.
  • The LIHHM rankings in over 80 percent of local housing markets show a positive outlook for the housing sector. There are only a few markets with negative rankings, mostly due to affordability concerns following several years of unsustainable house price appreciation.


* Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM): A data-driven view of the near-term performance of housing markets based upon current health indicators for the national housing market and 400 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and divisions across the country.

Overheated home prices continue to weigh on the housing outlook

The national LIHHM slipped a tad to 106.2, but it is still solidly in positive territory. Affordability is deteriorating as national house price gains continue to run well above the long-term average and overall income growth. Faster household formations offset much of the negative price impacts, helping to keep the near-term outlook for housing performance little changed. The backdrop for housing sector health remains positive with ongoing job gains, rising incomes, and a sustainable mortgage market. 
 
On a regional level, the LIHHM performance rankings suggest that the majority of metro areas across the country are healthy. The few negative rankings are primarily characterized by unsustainable house price increases, which is hurting housing sector health in some areas. A lack of housing inventory, which creates excess housing demand, is the primary factor boosting prices so sharply.

National LIHHM

Authored by Nationwide Economics

DAVID BERSON, PhD

Senior Vice President, Chief Economist

David holds a doctorate in Economics and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Prior to Nationwide, David served as Chief Economist, Strategist and Head of Risk Analytics for The PMI Group, Inc., and Vice President and Chief Economist for Fannie Mae. David has also served as Chief Financial Economist at Wharton Econometrics and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. His government experience has included roles with the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of Special Trade Representative. He is a past President of the National Association for Business Economics.

BRYAN JORDAN, CFA

Deputy Chief Economist

Bryan is a frequent author and knowledgeable source on economic topics, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Bryan holds degrees in Economics and Political Science from Miami University and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He currently serves as Chairman of the Ohio Council on Economic Education and is a member of the Ohio Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Bloomberg monthly economic forecasting panel.

BEN AYERS, MS

Senior Economist

Ben authors periodic economic analyses from the Nationwide Economics team, as well as commentary on key economic topics. Ben is also responsible for understanding and analyzing the enterprise business drivers to assist the strategic planning process. He holds a Master of Science in Economics from the Ohio State University, specializing in applied economic analysis, and a BSBA from the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University, with a focus on economics and international business.

Additional contributors: Ankit Gupta, Steve Hall, and Aaron Reincheld

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This material is provided by Nationwide Economics and is general in nature. It is not intended as investment or economic advice, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or adopt any investment strategy. Additionally, it does not take into account the specific investment objectives, tax and financial condition or particular needs of any specific person. We encourage you to seek the advice of an investment professional who can tailor a financial plan to meet your specific needs. The economic and market forecasts in this report reflect our opinion as of the date of this presentation/review and are subject to change without notice. These forecasts show a broad range of possible outcomes. Because they are subject to high levels of uncertainty, they may not reflect actual performance. Case studies and examples are for illustrative purposes only. We obtained certain information from sources deemed reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness.