Housing News

Florida Is Officially the “Saddest” State

What one survey tells us isn’t absolutely shocking

Florida is at the bottom of the latest Happiness Index by Mainstreet.com and it doesn’t even shock us. We’re not expecting homeowners to be wallowing in self-pity these days but the basis of the index gave us a hint on what states will actually tank even before its latest survey was released. The site posts, “The Happiness Index, which analyzes household income, non-mortgage debt, employment and foreclosures, is a fresh take on the old and tired Misery Index, made popular in the 1970s. The Misery Index takes into account unemployment and inflation rates and seeks to identify the most financially miserable places to live.”

Florida’s condition was explained by the writers: “With the third highest foreclosure rate in the country, 11% unemployment and a high non-mortgage debt rate, it’s not terribly surprising that Florida has dropped to the bottom of the Happiness Index. The Sunshine State is facing an extremely depressed housing market. According to an Orlando Sentinel article, authorities have devoted significant resources to combatting fraudulent mortgages in the troubled state. U.S. Attorney Brian Albritton told the Sentinel that Florida is ‘ground-zero for mortgage fraud.'”

Close to the last spot are (surprise, surprise) Nevada and California – two of the most heavily foreclosure devastated states in the country. With property prices devalued by 29.9 percent in Las Vegas, 12.5 percent in San Francisco and 12.0 percent in Los Angeles, we’re pretty sure that yes, life is miserable in these cities, except when your monthly earnings resist any impact of the recession of course.

At the other extreme, Nebraska tops the list followed by Iowa and Kansas. The Cornhusker State was cited for having only a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and only 28.64 percent of non-mortgage debt as percentage of annual income. And take note, there’s only one foreclosure for every 1,062 households. How’s that for an economic data?

This is one list that we actually approve of – well, except for the name to say the least. They could actually change it to reflect much more on the real estate criteria since it bears more weight. Add your suggestions in our comments section to let us know what you think.

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