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: June 18, 2019

2019Q1 HoHM Report: Slower house price gains lift housing outlook

  • The national LIHHM* improved to a positive rating this quarter for the first time in a year. Slowing home price appreciation, mostly in response to higher mortgage rates, is boosting the outlook for housing sector sustainability. A strong job market, accelerating wages, and positive demographics remain supportive of continued housing demand even as financing costs climb.
  • The slowdown in house price gains is being led by the largest cities in the country. Prices in many of these markets have been overheated for several years and are finally slowing toward their long-term trend — a positive for housing affordability.  
  • All of the 40 largest cities have positive or neutral outlooks — none have a negative ranking. Beyond the bigger markets, slightly more than half of all MSAs have a positive ranking, a modest improvement over recent quarters. 
  • Changes to housing/mortgage deductions within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are starting to impact the upper-end of the housing market in states with elevated home values and property tax rates. Data from 2018 show slower home price gains for the highest price tier relative to entry-level homes. 

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 for 2019 improves with the LIHHM in positive territory

The national LIHHM rose to a positive reading of 104.3 this quarter, indicative of near term health in the housing market. The demand metrics within the LIHHM remain highly positive with an ultra-low unemployment rate and ongoing job gains. Demographics are improving as well — household formations were strong again in 2018, helping to offset several years of below-trend growth. National house price growth has decelerated toward trend over the past year, a positive for sector sustainability. Higher mortgage rates have cooled homebuyer demand and should continue to weigh on sales volumes, although recent declines in mortgage rates suggest that the spring homebuying season could be solid.
 
Regionally, more than half of the LIHHM performance rankings are positive, suggestive of a healthy outlook for housing in these local markets. Demand factors at a regional level are generally supportive, but supply conditions remain tight. For the first time in several years, housing affordability is easing in many local areas as incomes expand more quickly than home prices, although offset by higher costs for mortgage financing.
 
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, CFA and Brian Kirk

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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.