Location continues to play a role in the housing market

The differences in location have played an important role in the size of increases and declines in home prices across the United States. As indicated by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Boston was the earliest market to see home prices peak in the mid-2000s (September 2005) and Charlotte the latest (August 2007). The two Composites were in-between with the 10-City peaking in June 2006 and the 20-City in July 2006.

As detailed below, the cities generally defined as being in the Sun Belt saw the largest increases in prices in the early-to-mid 2000s and some of the largest percent declines in the past five years. When they reached their peak in December 2006, Miami home prices had grown by about 180% from January 2000.  As of August 2011, the market has now fallen by about 50%. Los Angeles, San Diego and Tampa all grew by between 135% and 175%, and all have fallen by 38% or more through August. Las Vegas and Phoenix grew by 135% and 127% but have fallen by about 60% and 56%, respectively. As seen below, these two cities have the highest percent declines from their relative peaks, with Detroit, Miami and Tampa not far behind, each down by more than 40% from their relative peaks.  Detroit is the only one of these markets that falls outside of the Sun Belt.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

As of August 2011, nine cities and both Composites have fallen by more than 30% from their relative peaks and these are confined to the Sun Belt – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and Tampa, the Mid West – Detroit and Minneapolis, and the North West – San Francisco.

With August 2011 index levels below 100, Detroit and Las Vegas are the markets where average home prices are below their January 2000 levels, meaning home prices have lost all of the appreciation in value of the past 11+ years. At 102.04, 101.84 and 100.43, respectively, Atlanta, Cleveland and Phoenix are not far behind. Doing relatively better, at -7.3% and -9.8%, respectively Dallas and Denver are the only markets covered by our indices where the declines from peak are above -10%.

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice.
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