Will Rural States Lead a Housing Recovery?

A recovery in the housing market is already taking hold in several rural states, the USA Today reports.

North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Alaska weathered the collapse of the housing market better than the majority of states. These states’ economies boast some of the highest employment rates with economies that are dependent on stable industries like energy, industrial, and agricultural sectors.

Many small Midwestern states also are seeing a recovery in their housing markets, Jonathan Smoke, executive director for research for Housing IntelligencePro, told USA Today.

Here are some more signs that the rural states are leading a housing recovery:

States with the strongest rebound in non-distressed home sales: North Dakota, Iowa, and Wyoming have seen the strongest rebound in numbers of non-distressed home sales, according to a study by Housing IntelligencePro, which tracks real estate in 800 markets nationwide. Nearly every state saw sales decline from 2006 (the housing peak in most parts of the country) to March of this year, except for North Dakota. Sales there actually rose in that period.

Largest increases in price per square foot: Oklahoma and Nebraska saw the largest increases in prices per square foot for non-distressed homes. Oklahoma boasted a 17 percent increase while Nebraska saw a 12 percent jump in price per square foot, according to the Housing IntelligencePro study.

Fewest delinquent loans: Many of the rural states are also boasting the fewest delinquent loans, which usually equates to fewer foreclosures. The states with the lowest percentage of delinquent loans or those in foreclosure are Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota, according to Lender Processing Services.

Source: “Housing Turning Around in Spots; Recovery’s Afoot in Several Rural States,” USA Today (June 30, 2011)

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