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 9, 2020

2020Q1 HoHM Report: Housing market health remains solid for 2020

  • While the risk that the coronavirus outbreak will disrupt economic activity has increased significantly, the national LIHHM* projects that the housing sector will remain a source of growth for the economy in 2020. The key to this positive outlook is strong underlying housing demand factors — including above-trend household growth, solid job gains, and low mortgage rates.
  • Regionally, housing trends have improved in many local markets with more than half of metro areas showing a positive ranking this quarter. This suggests that the odds of a downturn in most housing markets during 2020 are low.
  • While mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are not a concern at present, some homeowners could be at greater risk during the next economic downturn. Looser lending standards for FHA, VA, and jumbo loans since 2012 suggest that these loan types would be more vulnerable than plain vanilla conventional, conforming loans to worsening economic conditions.

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 strong demand drivers

The national LIHHM at the end of 2019 was 106.1 which, after data revisions to previous quarters, marked the sixth-straight quarterly gain for this metric. Demand factors continue to drive the positive outlook led by low mortgage rates, above-trend household formations, the lowest unemployment rates in 50 years, and rising incomes. The serious delinquency rate has declined in each of the last six quarters and has fallen to a healthy level below 2.0 percent. House price gains have accelerated again in response to excess homebuyer demand with existing home sale supply levels very tight. Still, price growth remains near the long-term average and, with low mortgage rates, is keeping housing affordability positive.

Regionally, well over half of the LIHHM performance rankings are positive and indicate a high degree of sustainability for housing in those local markets. Household formations have increased regionally while unemployment rates remain low, supporting housing demand in most metro areas across the country. Additionally, rising incomes have kept pace with house price gains, helping to keep homes relatively affordable in many areas.

 
National LIHHM

Authored by Nationwide Economics

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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, Brian Kirk and Daniel Vielhaber

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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.