HousingIQ: February 2020 Housing Market Vitality Highlights

Going into the coronavirus crisis, the housing market was strengthening to Spring 2018 highs with 95% of metro markets forecasted to improve and 28 states forecasted to outperform the national market.

The February data does not reflect the COVID-19 impact.  The March data will no doubt show a huge impact as local economies across the country suffer job losses and worse.  One can get a sense of that forthcoming impact from the latest edition of the HousingIQ/Kentucky REALTORS® Confidence Index which dropped 32.5 points from its February 2020 reading.

The data for February show that it was going to be the best of times. The US Housing Market Vitality Indicator (HMVI-US) closed February 2020 at 106.9 which corresponds to economic conditions supporting 6.9% annual house price gains. The 3.1 point year-over-year increase sustained the January momentum and erased all 2019 losses in market strength. At the state level, twenty-eight state housing markets ended stronger than the overall US housing market. At the metro level, February 2020 ended with house prices in 95% of all metro markets forecasted to improve.

February 2020 closed 0.3 points higher than January 2020 and 3.1 points higher than February 2019.

The number of metro markets stronger than the national housing market settled at 153 markets in February 2020.

In February 2020, the number of metro markets where house prices are forecasted to decrease dropped to 4.2%.

Forecasted performance

In twenty-eight states, the housing market is stronger than the overall US housing market. New Hampshire is the only state where house prices are forecasted to stay flat over the next twelve months.

153 metro markets are forecasted to outperform the national market with Washington and California accounting for five of the top ten metros. 180 markets are forecasted to underperform the national market.

Trailing 12-month performance

Conditions improved in 233 metro markets with Louisiana accounting for three of the top ten performers. Conditions deteriorated in 169 metro markets with California contributing five of the ten worst performers.

Noteworthy markets

72 metro markets stand out for their consistent strong performance with Washington contributing four of the top ten markets. 58 metro markets have been consistently poor performers.