The real estate market is one of the most heavily debated areas of the economy. There has been a rebound in certain housing indicators since the depths of the credit meltdown, but the foundation was built on an unprecedented amount of intervention from the Federal Reserve and low inventory levels. Nonetheless, progress is being made, depending on your timeline.
A majority of the local housing markets are better off now than they were four years ago. According to an analysis of 410 counties in the United States by RealtyTrac, 96 percent of county housing markets are in better shape than they were when foreclosures peaked in 2010. In fact, 80 percent of the markets are better off than they were just two years ago when median home prices hit bottom. The analysis looked at four different key categories of housing market health: home price appreciation, affordability, percentage of bank-owned (REO) sales, and the unemployment rate.
“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, in the report. “We saw less than half that number of bank repossessions nationwide in 2013. Even in hard-hit markets like Stockton, Las Vegas, and Lansing, where REO sales represented more than half of all sales in 2010, the percentage of REO sales has been cut at least in half.”