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: December 8, 2020

2020Q3 HoHM Report: Housing climbs off the canvas after the COVID punch

  • The national LIHHM* had its largest one-quarter increase since 2010, rising to a slightly positive ranking as conditions improved sharply following the COVID-19 shutdown. Although the negative effects for the labor market are still being felt across the country, record low mortgage rates, positive demographics, and a desire for “space” continue to boost housing demand — lifting the outlook for the housing market.
  • Regionally, the majority of local housing markets have a neutral ranking, followed by a slightly negative ranking — suggestive of mixed housing conditions. Only a few markets have very negative rankings. The severe job losses from earlier this year continue to offset many positive trends for housing.
  • Delinquency rates spiked to recessionary levels in the second quarter as homeowners struggled with lost jobs and incomes. Many of these mortgages may not go into foreclosure, at least for a while, due to the forbearance options for federally-backed loans, while the surge in delinquency rates for this downturn looks to be over.

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 improves after the COVID-19 hit

Despite recent gains, the job market continues to be dramatically worse than a year ago – or most other historical time periods – preventing a larger recovery in the national LIHHM, which currently stands at a slightly positive reading of 103.6. Still, the national LIHHM saw the fourth-largest increase in its history (data back to 2003), and the biggest outside of the recovery from the Great Recession. Record low mortgage rates and rising incomes drove an increase in housing affordability, which should help to keep housing demand elevated into 2021. A still-high unemployment rate, however, could lead to a rise in foreclosure rates if-or-when government loan forbearance ends, as well as to slow pace of household growth.

Regionally, weak labor markets continued to weigh on the housing market outlooks for most metro areas. As at the national level, housing affordability readings have improved in many areas, a boost to homebuyer demand even as the effects of COVID-19 recession are expected to linger for some time. While improved from last quarter, the breakdown of rankings for the MSAs remains the much weaker than at any other point since 2009.

National LIHHM

Authored by Nationwide Economics



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.

a headshot of Bryan Jordan


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.

a headshot of Ben Ayers


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


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.