Housing Recovery Takes Hold Nationwide

Nearly every single housing market analyzed by housing data source RealtyTrac is better off today compared to four years ago when the foreclosure crisis peaked.

Out of 410 U.S. counties included in RealtyTrac’s report, 96% have improved since 2010, when median home prices hit their trough. 

“The housing recovery has taken root in hundreds of counties across the country and almost all local housing markets are better off than they were four years ago when foreclosure activity peaked in 2010, with more than 1 million homes lost to foreclosure in that year alone,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, of the analysis. 

To determine housing market health, RealtyTrac’s analysis considered four categories: home price appreciation, affordability, percentage of bank-owned (REO) sales, and the unemployment rate. The 410 counties in the report account for 63% of the U.S. population. 

There’s still room for improvement, however. When comparing the housing market’s health against 2006 prior to the housing bubble bursting, only 8% of county housing markets are better off. 

“Home prices in three-fourths of the counties analyzed are still below 2006 levels, but low inventory has helped home prices accelerate past pre-recession levels in some markets like Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and Oklahoma City,” Blomquist noted. “Those rapid home price gains are causing a concerning drop in affordability rates in some cities, but homebuilders and homeowners with regained equity should help provide more supply to balance out many of those markets in 2014.”

Still, hard-hit markets including Stockton, Calif., Las Vegas, and Lansing, Mich. saw REO sales drop by at least half in 2013. In many other counties, home prices continue to appreciate.

Check out RealtyTrac’s heat map charting the fall and rise of the housing market throughout the past eight years.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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