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: September 15, 2020

2020Q2 HoHM Report: Housing risks have increased, but not the rout seen during the Great Recession

  • The national LIHHM* dropped to the lowest since 2010 this quarter as the COVID-19 recession lead to record-breaking job losses in March and April, a key input for housing demand. But the national index only fell to a neutral ranking, reflecting positive pre-COVID trends for delinquencies and household growth which have yet to show an impact from the downturn.
  • Regionally, more than a quarter of MSAs across the country have a negative ranking in response to the significant decline in employment. This suggests a higher risk of a pullback in housing market readings over the next year in these local markets.
  • While home sales should contract this year, especially for existing homes, the housing market is expected to recover more quickly from this recession. Low mortgage rates, positive demographics, and a projected sharp rebound in economic growth should drive faster home buying and building during 2021.

Download HOHM Report

* 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.

Housing outlook falls to lowest level since 2010

The dramatic worsening of the labor market due to COVID-19 caused the national LIHHM to fall sharply this quarter. The current neutral reading of 100.3 indicates a mixed outlook with some concerns about housing sustainability over the next year. Homebuyer demand is expected to weaken in response to significant job losses and the likely deceleration of household formations in the quarters ahead. This should be partially offset by record-low mortgage rates and the projected recovery in the economy over the second half of 2020 and into 2021 and beyond. Delinquencies and foreclosures are likely to rise modestly but forbearance options for COVID-impacted homeowners could limit these increases. House price gains were solid in early 2020 and should remain positive due to supply constraints, especially in the market for existing homes.

Regionally, about a quarter of the LIHHM performance rankings are now negative, indicating higher risks to housing health in those local markets. Additionally, over half of the ratings are neutral, reflecting the widespread impact of COVID-19 on job conditions around the country. The breakdown of rankings for the MSAs is the weakest it has been since 2010 with only about 10 percent of markets now rated positively.

 
National LIHHM

Authored by Nationwide Economics

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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.

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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.

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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: Andrew Adler, Brian Kirk and Daniel Vielhaber

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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.