The 10 Healthiest Housing Markets

The recession ended seven years ago, but the health of the nation's housing markets varies widely by region. Here's a look at 10 of the metropolitan regions that are in the best shape.

It’s been seven years since the recession began, sending housing prices tumbling and wreaking havoc on the overall economy. Since then, many housing markets have recovered fully, while some continue to struggle.

Of course, one of the major causes of the crisis was the inability of homeowners to pay their mortgages. Low down payments and adjustable rate mortgages made it easy for millions of Americans to become homeowners. Unfortunately, many of those mortgages were only financially viable if the housing market continued to leap perpetually upward. It didn’t.

So are America’s homeowners better off today than they were seven years ago? The picture remains a bit murky. There are good points. For instance, interest rates remain low and the average homeowner now has 30% equity in their homes, according to a new survey from WalletHub.

However, 15% of Americans are still underwater, owing more than their house is worth, and another 10% are in what WalletHub terms “precarious” mortgages, because they have less than 10% equity in their homes.

Another bad sign: 17% of homeowners nationwide say they obtained their first mortgage without providing any proof of income, assets, or debt.

Those figures are just a few parts of WalletHub’s overall report. What follows is the site’s list of the 10 healthiest metropolitan areas when it comes to home ownership. Included in each capsule is the metro’s average housing equity, the percentage of homeowners with underwater or “precarious” mortgages, and the percentage of mortgages in the region that were made with 10% down or less.

10. Houston

Average Housing Equity: 32%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 10.70%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 9.97%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 57.14%

9. Philadelphia

Average Housing Equity: 36%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 10.67%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 9.14%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 39.04%

8. Rochester, NY

Average Housing Equity: 38%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 6.13%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 8.20%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 43.81%

7. New York City

Average Housing Equity: 47%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 9.96%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 6.46%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 34.15%

6. Austin, TX

Average Housing Equity: 33%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 7.29%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 10.55%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 54.26%

5. Hartford, CT

Average Housing Equity: 35%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 12.53%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 7.77%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 37.49%

4. Northern New Jersey

Average Housing Equity: 38%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 13.8%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 5.96%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 32.80%

3. San Antonio

Average Housing Equity: 36%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 9.08%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 10.15%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 62.40%

2. Oklahoma City

Average Housing Equity: 32%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 7.32%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 10.84%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 56.96%

1. Boston

Average Housing Equity: 43.00%

Percentage of Underwater Mortgages: 6.67%

Percentage of “Precarious” Mortgages: 5.46%

Percentage of Mortgages with a Down Payment of 10% or Less: 34.79%

To read WalletHub’s full report, click here.