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Values Appreciate: Healthy Markets Focus on West, Midwest

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home_value_appreciationIn October, the five healthiest markets were San Jose (Market Health Index of 9), San Francisco (8.9), Los Angeles (8.6), San Diego (8.4) and Denver (8.1), among the country’s top 30 largest metro markets covered by Zillow, while in September, Homes.com reported a majority of the nation’s largest markets, 52 percent, have recovered more than half of the equity lost during the housing depression.

“Rapid home value appreciation in the West, particularly California, is currently having a very positive effect on a number of other factors, including negative equity, foreclosure activity and the overall financial health of local homeowners,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “But that same rapid appreciation may cause affordability issues in the future for these markets, leading to potentially unhealthy conditions in the future.. The housing market is complex, and while individual statistics can be useful in describing a single aspect of a given market, one number on its own can’t tell the full story. As markets continue to evolve and recover, the Market Health Index will reflect these changing trends, offering consumers a valuable tool on which to base their decisions.”

However, the Homes.com Rebound Report listing of markets that have met or exceeded their peak prices during the housing boom are located in the heartland as opposed to the West Coast. However, not all rebound markets are smaller, Western markets. They include Bloomington, Ind. (288.57 percent rebound), Charleston, W.V. (262.17 percent), Pittsburgh (198.23 percent), Utica, N.Y. (163.74 percent), Honolulu (140.07 percent) and Raleigh-Cary, N.C. (137.31 percent).

The nation’s real estate recovery finished up the third quarter with more than one out of four markets surpassing their peak values and posting their highest prices ever. Some 27 percent of U.S. markets have now achieved a full recovery.

Twenty-six of the 100 largest markets in the nation – more than one quarter – are rebound markets. They include Houston, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh and Baton Rouge. Fifty-four of the 80 markets now showing a complete recovery are midsize markets, up from three last month.

Though most of the markets that have restored value have comparatively small peak-to-trough ratios, some markets had steep hills to climb (Fort Collins, Colo., 18.14 percent index points; Colorado Springs, Colo., 21.01 index points, Honolulu 34.42 index points).

Of the top ten markets for month-over-month increases in September, only two, Honolulu and Colorado Springs, have achieved full price recovery. Of the top ten markets for year-over-year price increases, only Honolulu and Salt Lake City have achieved full price recovery. Stability rather than rapid price gains has characterized rebound markets.

For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com.

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