SOURCE: RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac

October 22, 2012 21:00 ET

65 Percent of County Housing Markets Worse Off Than Four Years Ago According to RealtyTrac® Election 2012 Report

35 Percent of Counties Improved From Four Years Ago According to Exclusive Report; Home Prices, Unemployment Dragging Down Markets Despite Foreclosure Decreases

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 22, 2012) - RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released an exclusive report on the health of local housing markets compared to four years ago. Titled "Election 2012 Housing Health Check," the report found that 65 percent of local housing markets nationwide are worse off than four years ago based on an analysis of five key metrics impacting housing in more than 900 counties nationwide.

The key metrics analyzed were 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 percent) showed at least three out of the five key metrics worse off than four years ago, while in 315 counties (35 percent) 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. In addition, persistently high unemployment rates are hobbling a robust real estate recovery in most areas," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "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."

Other high-level findings from the report

  • Home prices are down from four years ago in the majority of counties nationwide, while unemployment rates are up in more than 90 percent of all counties.

  • The foreclosure picture is mixed, with slightly more than half of all counties documenting lower foreclosure inventory and fewer foreclosure starts compared to four years ago.

  • Distressed sales of properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned are a smaller share of residential sales than four years ago in almost exactly half of all counties, but the distressed sale share is still 10 percent or more of all sales in the majority of counties nationwide, and distressed sales account for one in every four sales in 20 percent of all counties.

To Download Our Free 2012 Election Report, Please Click Here

County-Level Heat Maps - Please click on the links below to view key metric data that was collected for all 919 counties:

Home prices
Home Sales Price County-Level Heat Map

Unemployment
Unemployment Rate County-Level Heat Map

Foreclosure Inventory
Foreclosure Inventory County-Level Heat Map

Foreclosure Starts
Foreclosure Starts County-Level Heat Map

Distressed Sales Share
Distressed Sales Share County-Level Heat Map

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting millions of unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate. RealtyTrac's foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments, private companies and academic institutions to help evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.

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