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Another week, another housing market list. This time, the insurance and financial services organization Nationwide is offering is quarterly Health of Housing Markets Report evaluating the housing health for the U.S. and 400 metropolitan statistical areas.
The good news in this report is the decline of serious delinquency rates to pre-2008 levels in nearly all surveyed metro areas. Falling interest rates are being credited in helping to build and maintain housing market strength across the nation.
"We are seeing positive signals for homeowners, as well as local economies, in most metro areas," said David W. Berson, Nationwide's senior vice president and chief economist. "The drop in serious mortgage delinquency rates supports sustainable home price gains and housing activity. The more sustainable housing markets should allow for positive feedback loops in local economies, with strengthening job and income gains for residential real estate agents, mortgage bankers and home improvement workers."
As for the healthiest housing markets, Nationwide offered a top 10 list consisting of Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.; Saginaw, Mich.; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Memphis, Tenn.-Miss-Ark.; Manhattan, Kan.; California-Lexington Park, Md.; Bloomsburg-Berwick, Pa.; Macon, Ga.; Midland, Mich.; and Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. At the other end of the spectrum, the bottom 10 metro housing markets were identified as Bismarck, N.D.; Casper, Wyo.; San Angelo, Texas; Midland, Texas; Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Waco, Texas; Laredo, Texas; College Station-Bryan, Texas; Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas; and Victoria, Texas