Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Housing Recovery: Vital Signs

Like a doctor examining a patient, an analysis by economists at the New York Fed checks the vital signs of the housing recovery at the county level. These are the findings...

1. Price changes: At the height of the housing market crash, housing prices were falling in 75 percent of counties. As of mid-2012, housing prices were declining in half the nation's counties.

2. Existing home sales: More than three out of four counties are experiencing a lower volume of sales relative to baseline sales in 2000-2002. "For the median county, the transaction volume today is less than 50 percent of the county's baseline flow rate," according to the authors.

3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures, short-sales, and deeds-in-lieu accounted for 5 percent of repeat sales in the median county of 2003. That figure is now 40 percent, but the authors find evidence that the distressed-sale share peaked in 2011.

Prognosis: "Local housing markets are making progress in their convalescence. However, our analysis indicates that most local housing markets still have a way to go to achieve a clean bill of health."

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Liberty Street Economics, Just Released: Housing Checkup--Has the Market Finally Bottomed Out?

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