96% of housing markets show improvement over 2010

by Ryan Smith24 Mar 2014
The vast majority of housing markets are better off now than they were at the height of the housing crisis four years ago – but only a few markets are better off than they were at the height of the bubble, according to a new study.

A new RealtyTrac analysis of housing markets in 410 counties show that 96% of markets have improved since foreclosures peaked in 2010. However, only 8% of county housing markets show improvement over 2006, before the housing bubble burst.

The study also found that 80% of housing markets surveyed were better off than they were in 2012, when median home prices bottomed out, and 30% showed improvement over 2008, the beginning of the financial meltdown.

“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. “We saw less than half that number of bank repossessions nationwide in 2013. Even in hard-hit markets like Stockton, Las Vegas and Lansing, Michigan, where REO sales represented more than half of all sales in 2010, the percentage of REO sales has been cut at least in half.

“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 added. “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.”