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articles about “Housing Misery Index

Housing Misery Index: Final 2012 Election Edition

Swing states are rebounding from their housing misery. However, in the candidates’ most loyal states, the housing markets are totally different. There’s still a lot of housing misery in Obamaland, but Romney Country has low housing misery and needs little government help.

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist
October 16, 2012

In our last update of Trulia’s Housing Misery Index before the election, we look at which states have the highest housing misery. The top two – Nevada and Florida – are both swing states. However, both have also seen prices rise sharply in the last year, so their misery is mixed with some relief.

We also look beyond the election to see whether the candidates will prioritize housing issues if elected, based on how miserable their most loyal states are. Presidents may campaign on the issues that matter most in swing states, but, once elected, their policies favor the states that voted for them. Here’s what it all means for the election homestretch.

The Most Miserable Housing States
Our Housing Misery Index takes two important indicators of a state’s housing market and adds them together. These are:

  1. The percentage change in home prices from each state’s own peak during last decade’s bubble until today, from FHFA. Big price drops lead to more underwater borrowers and less household wealth, which hurt the housing market and hold back economic recovery.
  2. The percent of mortgages either severely delinquent or in foreclosure, from CoreLogic. Defaults and foreclosures damage consumer confidence in the housing recovery, and foreclosures hurt not only the people who lose their homes but also their neighbors.

Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona have the highest housing misery in the country, thanks to big price declines and – especially in Florida – a very high share of homes in delinquency or foreclosure. In all four of these states, though, prices are rebounding: asking prices are up year over year (Y-o-Y) 4.5% in California, 6.9% in Florida, 7.0% in Nevada and 18.1% in Arizona according to the September 2012 Trulia Price Monitor.

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Housing Misery in the Swing States

In Nevada, Florida and Michigan, the Presidential Candidates Will Have to Talk About Housing

Housing got little play during the Republican primary season, as we predicted, but will it get any attention in the presidential election? With the general election campaign now underway, we updated our Housing Misery Index to see if — and where — the candidates will focus on housing.

The Most Miserable Housing States
Our Housing Misery Index takes two important indicators of a state’s housing market and adds them together. These are:

1) The percentage change in home prices from each state’s own peak during last decade’s bubble until today, from FHFA. Big price drops lead to more underwater borrowers and less household wealth, which hurt the housing market and hold back economic recovery.

2) The percent of mortgages either severely delinquent or in foreclosure, from CoreLogic. Defaults and foreclosures damage consumer confidence in the housing recovery, and foreclosures hurt not only the people who lose their homes but also their neighbors.

Four states continue to stand out from the rest for their housing misery: Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California. In these four states, home prices are 40% or more below their peak – and almost 60% in Nevada. In addition to big price declines, Florida has, by far, the highest share of homes where borrowers are either delinquent or in foreclosure; the state’s judicial foreclosure process means that foreclosures take much longer to complete than in most other states. But things are slowly improving: in three of these four most-miserable states – except Nevada – the Housing Misery Index has fallen several points in the last year.

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Misery Loves Campaigning: The Housing Misery Index and the 2012 Election

According to Trulia’s Housing Misery Index, next week’s Arizona and Michigan primaries could be the last we hear from candidates on housing until California votes in June.

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist
February 23, 2012

The housing crisis hurt some states especially hard. In those states, like Florida and Nevada, the Republican presidential candidates couldn’t ignore housing. But in states that weathered the housing crisis better, the candidates won’t spend precious money and attention on housing policy.

To see which states are suffering most, we created a Housing Misery Index. Like the original Misery Index, which adds together unemployment and inflation, our Housing Misery Index takes two important indicators of a state’s housing market and simply adds them together. For every state, we add (1) the percentage change in home prices from the peak until today, from FHFA, and (2) the percent of mortgages either severely delinquent or in foreclosure, from CoreLogic.

Why these two indicators? First, big price drops lead to more underwater borrowers and less household wealth, which hurt the housing market and hold back economic recovery. Second, defaults and foreclosures damage consumer confidence in the housing recovery, and foreclosures cause pain not only for people who lose their homes but also for their neighbors.

States That Are Most Miserable When It Comes To Housing

State Housing Misery Index
Nevada 73
Florida 62
Arizona 55
California 54
Michigan 37
Idaho 35
Rhode Island 34
Georgia 34
Washington state 33
Maryland 32

Note: Index is sum of peak-to-2011Q4 price decline (FHFA) and 2011Q4 delinquency (90+ days) plus foreclosure rate (CoreLogic). Top ten states ranked by the housing misery index are shown.

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