Most County Housing Markets Worse Off Over Last Four Years, Says RealtyTrac

While housing prices are on the rise, foreclosure and real estate research firm RealtyTrac reported that 65 percent of 919 county housing markets are worse off than they were four years ago, based mostly on factors including average sales price and foreclosure inventory.

With the 2012 election day just two weeks away, both Republicans and Democrats are grabbing at data to show that the economy has improved or worsened.

Housing data from S&P/Case-Shiller index and the National Association of Realtors show a rise in the average price of a home. Last week, the association showed sales fell 1.7 percent in September compared with a month earlier, but were up 11 percent over a year ago.

In the latest RealtyTrac report, the company compared data from the second quarters of 2008, the near-end of President George W. Bush's administration, and 2012 under President Obama. During the last four years, foreclosure inventory peaked in 2010 at 2.2 million, but has declined to 1.5 million.

Here are 10 counties that RealtyTrac noted are worse off and five counties that are better off compared to four years ago.

Worse

Cook County, Ill.

Average sales price: -17 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 37 percent

Worse

King County, Wash.

Average sales price: -16 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 62 percent

Worse

Salt Lake County, Utah

Average sales price: -36 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 49 percent

Worse

Pima County, Ariz.

Average sales price: -31 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 17 percent

Worse

Honolulu County, Hawaii

Average sales price: -20 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 650 percent

Worse

Du Page County, Ill.

Average sales price: -18 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 65 percent

Worse

Gwinnett County, Ga.

Average sales price: -19 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 24 percent

Worse

Montgomery County, Pa.

Average sales price: -7 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 77 percent

Worse

Snohomish County, Wash.

Average sales price: -16 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 94 percent

Worse

Lake County, Ill.

Average sales price: -22 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 78 percent

Better

Orange County, Calif.

Average sales price: 2 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: -38 percent

Better

New York County, N.Y.

Average sales price: 29 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: -12 percent

Better

Middlesex County, Mass.

Average sales price: 10 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: -10 percent

Better

Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Average sales price: 13 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: -44 percent

Better

Fairfax County, Va.

Average sales price: 7 percent

Foreclosure Inventory: 60 percent

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