The table gives a comparison across the twenty S&P/Case-Shiller Cities and their performance through this week’s report for April 2012. As noted in the press release, 19 of the 20 cities enjoyed higher prices in April compared to March. This time around, no cities set new lows. On a year-over-year basis ten cities were up, led by Phoenix with an 8.6% gain. At the other end of the scale, Atlanta was off 17% in the last 12 months, largely due to a surge in foreclosures. As bad as that sounds, it is a bit better than the prior month’s number. An indication of how much things are changing can be seen in numbers for the sunbelt. Phoenix was one of the worst hit cities in the housing collapse, as was Miami — both are now among the better performers.
One indication of how deep the housing collapse was can be seen on the table in the columns showing the peak to trough declines and the subsequent recovery. While the recent report is encouraging and some are calling a major turn in the market we have a long way back yet to go. Another measure of the depths of the bust in terms of vanished equity can be found in recent comments by the Conversable Economist using data from the Federal Reserve. By either measure, the 2006-2012 collapse was deep.