Sixty-five percent of counties in U.S. housing markets are worse today than four years ago; St Louis no exception

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-Today, RealtyTrac released “Election 2012 Housing Health Check” in which it looked at how the real estate market, as a whole, has done during the Obama administration, and then broke it down to the county level for over 900 U.S. counties.  While the housing market has not been the topic of much discussion by President Obama nor Presidential hopeful Romney in the debates, they have both had their say.  Obama recently drew attention to the fact that foreclosure activity dropped to a five-year low and has also recently said “housing has begun to rise”, ostensibly taking some credit for both and, last month, Romney released a white paper with his plan to “end the housing crisis” which he say, in part, is “Obama’s failure”.(click here for a copy of the Romney White Paper as well as the complete RealtyTrac Report)

A look at the past four years in housing…not pretty, including in St. Louis County

RealtyTrac’s report looked at what has happened during the Obama administration in the housing market at a county level, using five key metrics: average home prices, unemployment rate, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts and share of distressed sales.  Below are highlights of the results:

  • 65 percent of the counties’ housing markets are worse off now then they were four years ago
  • Home prices are lower than than four years ago in 72 percent of the counties
  • Unemployment rate is higher in 94 percent of the counties
  • 48 percent of the counties show an increase in foreclosure activity, 52 percent a decrease
  • Foreclosure starts were down in 53 percent of the counties and up on 47 percent
  • The counties were split 50/50 on the share of distressed home sales

The report included specific details on the 50 largest counties in the U.S., of which St. Louis County was one.  Below are the specifics for St. Louis County’s housing market during the Obama administration:

  • The average St Louis County house sales price has declined 37 percent
  • The St. Louis County unemployment rate has increased 39 percent
  • St Louis County’s foreclosure inventory has declined 66 percent
  • Foreclosure starts in St. Louis county declined 12 percent
  • The share of home sales that are distressed sales has declined by 25 percent

It probably does not come as a shock to anyone here that the St Louis housing market has suffered during the past four years.  The question is, will it be better during the next four years with Obama or Romney?

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