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 17, 2019

2019Q3 HoHM Report: Probably past the peak, but the fundamentals are still positive for housing activity

  • The national LIHHM* continues to suggest a sustainable housing market. Improved household growth, solid job gains, and low delinquency rates are the major drivers of the positive outlook for housing activity over the next year.
  • Slower house price gains and falling mortgage rates have significantly improved housing affordability while income growth has accelerated — putting a home purchase within reach for more homebuyers. Lack of supply remains a constraint, however, and is likely to limit a further expansion of home sales.
  • More MSAs dropped to a neutral rating this quarter, indicating that housing activity may have peaked, but not suggesting a downturn for housing. This includes more than half of the 40 largest metro areas in the country.
  • The peak for the housing market for this cycle probably occurred in 2017. Moreover, this peak was much lower than during previous expansions, due in large part to the historically low inventory of homes on the market and more restrictive mortgage lending.

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 upbeat in response to strong demand drivers

The national LIHHM edged a tad lower to a positive reading of 106.9 this quarter. Drivers of homebuyer demand, including job/income gains and household formations, remain positive and are expected to keep the near term outlook for housing positive. National house price growth has slowed further and is near the long-term trend, a positive for sustainability. Lower mortgage rates should boost sales activity and may lead to faster price gains ahead, although the tight supply of homes on the market will likely limit the sales upside.

Regionally, half of the LIHHM performance rankings are positive and indicate a healthy outlook for housing in those local markets. Demand factors at a regional level are generally supportive with low unemployment rates and faster household formations. Moreover, housing affordability is improving in many areas as income gains have accelerated while mortgage rates have declined.

 
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: Andrew Adler 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.