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: March 10, 2020

2019Q4 HoHM Report: Expanding housing market to drive further gains in home construction

  • The national LIHHM* retained a positive rating this quarter, suggesting that the odds of a downturn in the housing market over the next year are relatively low. Demand for housing remains strong in response to above-trend household growth, solid job gains, and low mortgage rates — factors that drive a positive outlook for housing for 2020.
  • The low supply of existing homes for sale remains a constraint on sales growth and has shifted more homebuyer demand to new homes. Housing starts, while trending higher, are also below the demographic trend — implying further gains in coming years for the construction of both single-family and multifamily units.
  • Regionally, about half of metro areas maintained a positive ranking this quarter — indicative of generally supportive conditions for housing growth over the next year or so. Moreover, the rankings for most MSAs were unchanged versus a year ago as demand factors and mortgage market conditions have remained stable and sustainable.

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 remains positive, aided by demand factors

The national LIHHM edged lower for a second consecutive quarter to 106.2, but remains up solidly from a year ago. Demand factors continue to drive the positive outlook led by low mortgage rates (more than 100 basis points below year-earlier levels), above-trend household formations, nearly the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, and rising incomes. The national serious delinquency rate has declined over the past four quarters, contributing to the positive readings within the LIHHM. House price growth (although accelerating a bit recently) remained near the long-term average, promoting a generally sustainable price environment for homebuyers.

Regionally, half of the LIHHM performance rankings are positive and indicate of a healthy outlook for housing in those local markets. Household formations have increased regionally and unemployment rates remain low, supporting housing demand in most metro areas across the country. Additionally, personal income shifted higher in response to tight labor markets while house price growth has been steady, helping to keep homes relatively affordable in many areas.

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: 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.