The rebound from the lows for four of the 20 citites in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices standout — Phoenix, Las Vegas, Detroit and San Francisco. (see the right hand column in the table). All have bounced back by 25% or more. While the price gains are certainly welcome news for home owners (and a bit frustrating for buyers) there may be more to the story. Detroit suffered in the auto collapse and, with the auto manufactuerers coming back and a slow down in foreclosures there are reasons for Detroit to be doing better. San Francisco continues to benefit from Silicon Valley as well as being always highly ranked as one of the most attractive places to live. Phoenix and Las Vegas may have more interesting stories. A recent article in the New York Times chronicles the increase in home prices sparked by Wall Street firms buying large blocks of homes to rent. In a major change to the single family home market, some of the cities hardest hit in the housing collapse are seeing the appearance of large scale buyers. Prices are rising, but some worry that renters and absentee landlords may not keep properties in good shape — while others wonder what would happen if the large buyers became large sellers. It is far too early to tell, but home prices may be more volatile in the future than the past. (Click on table for larger image)
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