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Increased U.S. Housing Activity, Improved Economic Conditions on the Horizon

June 21, 2016

Falling delinquency and foreclosure rates indicate a more sustainable U.S. housing market

Columbus, OH - With continued strength in the job market and solid gains in house prices, there has been a meaningful drop in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures in the U.S. Steady employment gains mean most Americans are able to meet their mortgage obligations, while house price gains have helped reduce the number of underwater mortgages – leading to lower default rates and a healthy outlook for the housing market in the next year, according to the latest housing market barometer released today by Nationwide, a leading insurance and financial services organization.

The forward-looking Health of Housing Markets Report (HoHM Report) evaluates the housing health for the U.S. and 400 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). This quarter’s HoHM Report shows serious delinquency rates in nearly all MSAs are trending down toward pre-housing bust levels. As mortgage market conditions steadily improve, housing is expected to remain a bright spot in the U.S. economy. 

Movements in serious delinquencies – defined as homes in foreclosures plus greater than 90-day delinquencies – serve as a leading indicator for overall housing market health among buyers, sellers, and builders. Falling rates across the country bode well for continued health and sustainability throughout most housing markets in the U.S. over the next year.

“We are seeing positive signals for homeowners, as well as local economies, in most metro areas,” said David W. Berson, Nationwide’s senior vice president and chief economist. “The drop in serious mortgage delinquency rates supports sustainable home price gains and housing activity. The more sustainable housing markets should allow for positive feedback loops in local economies, with strengthening job and income gains for residential real estate agents, mortgage bankers and home improvement workers.”

The report also indicates that:

The Top 10 MSAs in the index are, in order: Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.; Saginaw, Mich.; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Memphis, Tenn.-Miss-Ark.; Manhattan, Kan.; California-Lexington Park, Md.; Bloomsburg-Berwick, Pa.; Macon, Ga.; Midland, Mich.; Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. 

The Bottom 10 MSAs, in order, are: Bismarck, N.D.; Casper, Wyo.; San Angelo, Texas; Midland, Texas; Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Waco, Texas; Laredo, Texas; College Station-Bryan, Texas; Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas; Victoria, Texas 

Showing the most improvement in the past year, in order, are: Manhattan, Kan.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Monroe, La.; Roanoke, Va.; Texarkana, Texas-Ark.; Bloomsburg-Berwick, Pa.; California-Lexington Park, Md.; Ocean City, N.J.; Kingston, N.Y.; Alexandria, La. 

Weakening the most in the past year, in order, are: Casper, Wyo.; Midland, Texas; Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn.; Lawton, Okla.; Waco, Texas; Peoria, Ill.; College Station-Bryan, Texas; Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa; Bloomington, Ill.; Anchorage, Alaska 

More information about the HoHM Report, including the methodology used, can be found at www.inthenation.com/housing. The HoHM Report is released on a quarterly basis online and in print.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.


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