Most housing markets worse off than four years ago


REALTYTRAC.COM – “Election 2012 Housing Health Check” found that 65 percent of local housing markets nationwide are worse off than four years ago based on an analysis of five key metrics impacting housing in more than 900 counties nationwide.
The key metrics analyzed were average home prices, unemployment, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts and share of distressed sales.

In the 919 counties with data available for all five metrics, 580 (65 percent) showed at least three out of the five key metrics worse off than four years ago, while in 315 counties (35 percent) at least three of the five key metrics were better off than four years ago.
“The U.S. housing market has shown strong signs of life in recent months, but many local markets continue to struggle with high levels of negative equity as the result of home prices that are well off their peaks. In addition, persistently high unemployment rates are hobbling a robust real estate recovery in most areas,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“While the worst of the foreclosure problem is in the rear view mirror for a narrow majority of counties, others are still working through rising levels of foreclosure activity, inventory and distressed sales as they continue to clear the wreckage left behind by a bursting housing bubble,” Blomquist added.
Other high-level findings from the report include:
Home prices are down from four years ago in the majority of counties nationwide, while unemployment rates are up in more than 90 percent of all counties.
• The foreclosure picture is mixed, with slightly more than half of all counties documenting lower foreclosure inventory and fewer foreclosure starts compared to four years ago.
Distressed sales of properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned are a smaller share of residential sales than four years ago in almost exactly half of all counties, but the distressed sale share is still 10 percent or more of all sales in the majority of counties nationwide, and distressed sales account for one in every four sales in 20 percent of all counties. 


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