In the June data released on August 30th no new lows were set by any city, a welcome change from the last few months when one or more cities established new weak points each time. There is more going on than just a brief respite from new lows — eight cities set lows in 2009 and have remained above them for two or more years while the others continue to bounce along the bottom. The table, sorted by the date each city reached its trough, highlights the cities with more staying power of the stronger places.
The notable group is California where all three cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles and SanDiego — are two years or more past the bottom. All three are at least 6% above their low points with San Francisco almost 15% above the low. Even with modest declines in the last year, these look better off. Looking at the eight “2009” cities, the average peak to trough drop was 29%, less than the average drop of 39% seen in the other 12 metro areas. Likewise, the “2009” cities average 7% up from their lows compared to almost 3% for the 12 weaker locations. The eight cities holding on to their earlier lows also peaked early in the process with Boston and San Diego peaking in September and November 2005.
The twin challenges for the next year are whether these “2009” eight cities can build on their track record and whether the remaining 12 will avoid new lows in the coming year.