Nearly two-thirds of local housing markets are worse off today than they were four years ago, according to the Election 2012 Housing Health Check report issued by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
In its report, RealtyTrac analyzed average home prices, unemployment, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts and share of distressed sales. In the 919 counties with data available for all five metrics, 580 (65%) showed at least three out of the five key metrics worse off than four years ago, while in 315 counties (35%) at least three of the five key metrics were better off than four years ago.
‘The U.S. housing market has shown strong signs of life in recent months, but many local markets continue to struggle with high levels of negative equity as the result of home prices that are well off their peaks,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
‘In addition, persistently high unemployment rates are hobbling a robust real estate recovery in most areas,’ he adds. ‘While the worst of the foreclosure problem is in the rear-view mirror for a narrow majority of counties, others are still working through rising levels of foreclosure activity, inventory and distressed sales as they continue to clear the wreckage left behind by a bursting housing bubble.’