While the housing market overall feels choppy, looking at trends over the past couple of years shows that trends in home values and income are turning positive, after a tough two-year stretch.
Nielsen presents an interesting analysis of trends in these metrics at the county level, which helps to capture the real performance of local markets. Overall, 69% of U.S. counties reported an increase in home value in January 2010 versus 2009, compared to just 46% the prior year.
This local trend in home values is supported by increases in media household income, suggesting local employment markets have strengthened.
The macro trends are being influenced by a significant population shift.
The analysis also revealed that population decreased in 43% of U.S. counties between 2009 and 2010. These levels of county population change are similar to changes seen with recent demographic releases. Wayne County, Michigan topped the list of population losers, which is consistent with the economic downturn and job losses seen in the Detroit area.