Soft Market Index – Google Maps Mashup

February 6, 2008


I came across this interesting Google Maps mashup from BloodhoundBlog (via Dan Green at The Mortgage Reports). According to SocketSite, Countrywide has a Soft-Market Index for most counties in the country, where each county is categorized on a level of 1 to 5 on their risk for declining value. The map is actually available at GeoCommons, which uses the above data to create a Google Maps mashup. SocketSite says

Because of these market conditions, as well as policies implemented by Government Sponsored Enterprises and Mortgage Insurance agencies, Countrywide®, America’s Wholesale Lender® is adopting new Soft Market policies designed to help serve qualified borrowers in markets which are either declining or projected to decline in 2008.

Impacted markets across the nation have been categorized, with Category 5 being the highest risk for declining market value and Category 1 markets currently demonstrating more stable market values. Those counties in a higher risk category are subject to additional guideline restrictions as described below. Click here to view a list of the counties currently attributed to Soft Market categories 1-5.

Now, this is only Countrywide’s own index, and might have nothing to do with how other mortgage companies treat different markets. Nevertheless, the mashup provides an interesting insight into how the mortgage market might shape up in the coming months.


6 Responses to “Soft Market Index – Google Maps Mashup”

  1. vijay Says:

    so, i live in a 5 mkt now and renting. what would u say. don’t even bother to buy a house now ?

  2. bob Says:

    Yes, buy now. Inverstors are beginning to buy all over these low market areas. Even if it goes down a little more, no one knows where the bottom is and by the time the media mentions it, and the sales reports are out, the bottom will have already passed. Also, sellers realize the market conditions and those able to do so are discounting their homes even below the already low list prices. Get good, current sales comps, get pre-qualified for your loan, and get a home! FHA has wonderful low down programs available from most lenders. Get an FHA EXPERIENCED lender and relator.
    Bob, Realtor 21 years.

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  4. Chiconya Says:

    Thanks I am using this report to define stable markets. Not very pleased where is the bottom?

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