Many housing markets are still finding their footing following the unforgettable financial crisis and housing market collapse. Recent data from WalletHub titled "The Health of the Housing Market in 25 Big Cities" written by Richie Bernardo found that the housing market is a major driver of economic growth.
"Although mortgages continue to saddle American consumers, who collectively owed $8.17 trillion in housing debt by the end of the second quarter of 2015, signs of economic improvement abound, thanks to real estate’s resurrection.
The report analyzed 25 real-estate markets in the largest metropolitan areas across 10 key metrics: equity levels, underwater mortgages, precarious mortgages, down payments, financial freedom, mortgage cost, easy mortgages, first-time homebuyer assistance, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and lump sum home equity loans.
As of the first quarter of 2015, for instance, about 255,000 consumers had a bankruptcy notation added to their credit reports, the lowest quarterly total since 2006. Foreclosure rates have also dipped to their lowest since that same year. In addition, lower down payments and higher approval rates for people with average credit scores indicate a growing housing market.
According to the report, Boston, Massachusetts is ranked number one overall with the healthiest housing market. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma follows in second with a healthy housing market. San Antonio, Texas, Northern New Jersey, New Jersey, and Hartford, Connecticut round out the top five cities with the healthiest market.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, Tucson, Arizona, Orlando, Florida, Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada finish up the list with healthy but weaker housing markets.
WalletHub determined that New York City, New York has the highest equity level at 47 percent. Boston, Massachusetts had the second-highest at 43 percent and Rochester, New York and Northern New Jersey, New Jersey tied for third with a 38 percent equity level. On the other hand, Las Vegas, Nevada had the lowest equity level at 12 percent.
The city with the lowest percentage of underwater mortgages is Rochester, New York at 6.13 percent. Boston, Massachusetts (6.67 percent), Austin, Texas (7.29 percent), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (7.32 percent), and San Antonio, Texas (9.08 percent) finish up the top five cities with the lowest percentage of underwater mortgages. Las Vegas, Nevada once again makes the bottom of the list with 38.58 percent of homeowners underwater on their mortgages.
WalletHub says that San Antonio, Texas hosts the lowest down payment percentage option at 13.71 percent, while New York City, New York hosts the highest at 23.98 percent.