Housing Recovery Still Slow, Freddie Mac Report Shows

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A slow and uncertain housing recovery continues, according to a report released by Freddie Mac on Friday. More markets have improved to stable growth, but far from the majority.

State and regional markets hit least by the housing bubble burst, like D.C., North Dakota and Wyoming, have “stable” (meaning they aren’t weak or overheated) Multi-Indicator Market Index values, the report shows. Only 13 states total rated as “stable,” according to the report.

“The bleeding has stopped from the rate increases from a year ago,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist Frank Nothaft said in a press release.

MiMi measures home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, employment and proportion of current mortgage payments in each market.

Six of the top 50 metro areas received stable MiMi ratings, with three Texas cities (San Antonio, Austin and Houston) ranked as most stable.

The most improved states included some of the hardest hit by the bottom falling out of the housing market, such as Michigan and Nevada on a month-over-month basis. Nevada, Illinois, Florida and California have the top four year-over-year MiMi recovery improvements, as much an indication of how far they fell during the housing crisis as the strength of their current recovery.

“The good news from MiMi this month is the improvement across more markets and not just the large markets like Los Angeles and New York which receive so much of the attention,” Freddie Mac’s Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said in a press release. “More homeowners are making timely mortgage payments, the employment picture is improving, and cheap mortgage rates are helping to support affordability.”

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