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 September 18th, 2018.

2018Q2 HoHM Report: Housing outlook falls to the lowest level since the end of the housing bust

  • The national LIHHM* dropped to the lowest level since the end of the housing bust. Deteriorating housing affordability and below-average household growth lowered the outlook for sustainable growth.
  • Damaged homes and displaced households from the 2017 hurricanes raised mortgage delinquency rates in Florida and Texas, helping to decrease the national LIHHM. This should be temporary and is unlikely to weigh on the national housing market in the long term. Without this temporary factor the national LIHHM would be barely in the positive category. 
  • Regional rankings paint a more optimistic picture for housing sector health. The majority of MSAs were ranked positive, indicative of ongoing sustainable growth in housing activity, while only 18 MSAs received a negative rating.
  • Home price appreciation in over 75 percent of MSAs was above the local long-term average over the past year. After several years of rapid price gains, single-family housing has become increasingly less affordable in many metros, worsening the outlook for housing expansion.

* 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.

Hurricane-induced delinquencies helped to push the LIHHM into neutral territory

The national LIHHM continued to trend lower this quarter and dipped into neutral territory for the first time since 2003. Worsening housing affordability and weaker household formations caused the index to steadily pull back over the past year, along with a temporary rise in delinquencies. House price gains have strengthened due to lack of housing supply and have lowered affordability relative to incomes to a concerning level. On the upside, the employment situation remains positive with a low unemployment rate and solid payroll gains supporting housing demand.
An increase in mortgage delinquencies also lowered the national LIHHM score this quarter. Viewed regionally, spikes in delinquency rates were concentrated along the coastal regions of Florida and Texas after the hurricanes of 2017. The uptick in delinquencies is not representative of a national problem, suggesting the national score could move higher in coming quarters as hurricane-affected areas recover.

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.


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.


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


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.