Even as the worst housing market correction in more than 60 years appeared to turn a corner in 2009, the fallout from sharply lower home prices and high unemployment continued, according to “The State of the Nation’s Housing,” a report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
By year’s end, about one in seven homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth, seriously delinquent loans were at record highs, and foreclosures exceeded two million, the report states.
More than a third of home sales in 2009, about 1.8 million units, were short sales or foreclosures, according to the National Association of Realtors
Meanwhile, the share of households spending more than half of their incomes on housing was set to reach new heights as incomes slid. The strength of job growth is now key to how quickly loan distress subsides and how fully housing markets recover.