Report: Only 10 states have 'stable' housing markets

In addition, just four cities meet the Freddie Mac criteria for stability.

By MSN Real Estate partner Jun 3, 2014 10:57AM

© Thinkstock/Getty ImagesBy Brian O'Connell, TheStreet.com

 

Despite the historically busy springtime selling season, the housing market just can't seem to get out of its own way.

 

The latest example of that comes from the Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index. The index is showing a national housing market that Freddie Mac describes as "weak" and "flat" compared with one month ago, and especially so compared with the housing sector one year ago.

 

The report comes at a time the nation's leading economic policymakers are clearly worried about the soft real estate market.

 

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Here's what Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen, said before a Senate committee May 8:

"With the harsh winter behind us, many recent indicators suggest that a rebound in spending and production is already under way, putting the overall economy on track for solid growth in the current quarter. One cautionary note, though, is that readings on housing activity -- a sector that has been recovering since 2011 -- have remained disappointing so far this year and will bear watching."

Reinforcing Yellen's point is one statistic from the MiMi file: Only 10 of 50 U.S. states are in a "stable" housing market range, with North Dakota, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Louisiana ranking in the top five, according to Freddie Mac.

 

And only four cities out of 50 measured in the report -- San Antonio; New Orleans; Austin, Texas; and Houston -- are also considered stable.

 

According to Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, the housing market appears to be taking a big step backward.

"Less than half of the housing markets MiMi covers are showing an improving trend, whereas at this same time last year more than 90% of these same markets were headed in the right direction. We're hopeful that many of these markets that have stalled will start moving again now that mortgage rates have eased over the past month and the spring home-buying season is upon us."

Nothaft notes also that recent home-price gains aren't as helpful to the market as one might think.

"House price gains are a double-edged sword at this stage of the recovery," he adds. "They help those hard-hit markets where prices are still low and many homeowners are underwater, but in areas where supply is constrained, they're creating an imbalance and pricing out many first-time homebuyers."

 

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10Comments
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Why do people believe that Realtors are experts when it comes to marketing? Ever gone to a grocery store, picked up a can, and the label said; If you want to know what’s in this can, call this number? No? That’s because it doesn’t work.
You can do better!

Jun 8, 2014 3:27AM
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The only thing that screws up real estate are realtors.  That model needs to change!
Jun 8, 2014 12:29AM
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Looks like Republican government win here too. Welfare and food stamps are not main players in a good economy. Only job lose and high taxes drive it! 1-800-****obama!
Jun 4, 2014 5:24AM
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What do the top ten cities (over 250,000 population) with the highest
poverty rate all have in common?
Detroit, MI, (1st) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961.
Buffalo, , (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954.
Cincinnati, OH, (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984. 
Cleveland, OH, (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989.
Miami, FL, (5th) has *never had a Republican mayor.
. Louis, MO, (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949.
El Paso, TX, (7th) has *never had a Republican mayor.
Milwaukee, WI, (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908.
, PA, (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952.
Newark, NJ, (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

Jun 3, 2014 11:43PM
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LOL how can you say that we're in the greatest Obama recovery in history?
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