Most of the worst housing markets in America have one thing in common: oil.
And markets in energy-producing areas make up most of the bottom-ranked parts of America.
Nationwide's Health of Housing Markets Report for the first quarter showed that housing-market activity was still healthy nationally. At best, it's in a "Goldilocks" state, according to Nationwide chief economist David Berson.
But the impact of the plunge in oil prices — by about 60% since June 2014 — is made very clear in a performance ranking of housing markets.
Eight of the bottom 10 metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, are in Texas or Louisiana. We'd note that there's more to their economies than oil-and-gas exploration.
"What's really happening there is a significant slowing — if not an outright decline — in job growth," Berson told Business Insider on Thursday. "And besides households, jobs are the other key determinant of housing demand. With the drop in energy prices, we're seeing — in many energy MSAs — significant slowing in jobs growth lowering housing demand and the index in those MSAs."
To rank the markets, Nationwide created a leading index of housing markets based on several data points to deduce their near-term performances. Nationally the index is at a two-year low of 105.4 but above the breakeven level of 100.