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Detroit, Santa Barbara and Reno Lead Turnaround

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By Steve Cook

Affordability was a serious issue in many Boston-area communities before the housing crash and now tight inventories have helped push median sales prices up 9.5 percent year over year in the third quarter.

No. 9 – Boulder-Longmont, Colo. Tight inventory is also Boulder’s secret to landing on this quarter’s top turnaround towns list. It trimmed its inventory of homes for sale by 18.1 percent compared to the third quarter of last year and ranked 7th in the nation for declining age of inventory.

Boulder’s already-thin housing supply was stretched further when heavy rains fell on the eastern slope of the Rockies in September, causing massive flooding in Boulder and El Paso Counties. However, Boulder’s relative health is worth remembering, and its likely quick return to its equalized buyer-seller home buying marketplace is anticipated for later this year.

No. 10 – Las Vegas, Nev.-Ariz. (NV). Las Vegas was often cited as ground zero for the housing boom and bust. Despite progress over the past several years, nearly half of Las Vegas homeowners are said to still be underwater on their mortgages.

As of the third quarter of 2013, the median list price at $169,900 was up 11.0 percent from $153,000 in the second quarter, and up 30.8 percent from $129,900 one year ago. In Las Vegas, the pendulum has been swinging in a positive direction long enough to qualify it for the list of top turnaround towns, ranking 7th in price increases and 12th in inventory decline. Further, the pace of decline in age of inventory – down 23.5 percent compared to year-ago levels – places it within the top 25 percent of markets in the country – a clear sign of favorable momentum.

For more information, visit http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com.

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