Nationwide Economics LIHHM methodology

Nationwide’s Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM) is a data-driven view of the near-term performance of housing markets based upon current health indicators for the national housing market and 400 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and divisions across the country. For each MSA, the LIHHM uses local-level data to incorporate the idiosyncratic characteristics of regional housing markets. The focus of the LIHHM is on the entire housing market, rather than merely a projection of house prices or home sales.

The LIHHM is calculated using a number of variables that describe many of the drivers of the housing market for each MSA. In order to provide the best indicator of housing health, the included variables and corresponding weights for each provide the optimal leading perspective on future housing markets for each MSA. The drivers can be grouped into the following categories:

1. Employment
2. Demographics
3. Mortgage Market
4. House Prices

As an illustration, if job growth increases in an MSA, then the resulting rise in incomes creates additional housing demand. Consumers have a  greater ability to earn and save for home purchases, increasing sales and pushing up house prices. The LIHHM measures the movements in the included employment, demographic, mortgage market, and house price variables versus the long-term trends within each MSA.

These drivers are used to derive an overall LIHHM score on a scale from 75 to 125 centered around a neutral value of 100. These values are placed into performance rankings to allow for better comparisons across MSAs. These performance rankings are the key metric in comparing the MSAs both to each other and across time. Raw LIHHM values are used for calculation purposes only and will only be shown on the national level as the national score is standalone and is not compared to other areas.


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This material is provided by Nationwide Economics and is general in nature. It is not intended as investment or economic advice, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or adopt any investment strategy. Additionally, it does not take into account the specific investment objectives, tax and financial condition or particular needs of any specific person. We encourage you to seek the advice of an investment professional who can tailor a financial plan to meet your specific needs. The economic and market forecasts in this report reflect our opinion as of the date of this presentation/review and are subject to change without notice. These forecasts show a broad range of possible outcomes. Because they are subject to high levels of uncertainty, they may not reflect actual performance. Case studies and examples are for illustrative purposes only. We obtained certain information from sources deemed reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness.