All Markets Are Local
Looking beneath the national numbers, Robert Denk, NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis, noted a range of conditions across the country and differences among the states in the amount of distress suffered during the recession and the headway that is being made in recovery.
Housing nationwide bottomed out at an average of 27 percent of normal production in early 2009.
The hardest hit states where production soared to unsustainable levels during the boom years — California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida — bottomed out at 10 percent to 20 percent of normal when the housing bubble burst. In sharp contrast, better states that did not experience a huge production run up during the boom declined to 50 percent of normal production.
“We’ve now gotten past the point where we are digging out of holes and repairing the carnage of the housing markets,” said Denk. “It’s no longer about the boom and the bust. Now it’s about the underlying [state and regional] economies and how that is supporting the housing recovery.”
For example, while Texas and Florida have roughly the same number of mortgages, Florida had nearly five times as many foreclosures during the height of the downturn and today has less than double.