Half of U.S. housing markets – but not D.C. – have surpassed pre-recession highs

By Fairfax Sun Gazette

A decade after the U.S. housing market crashed, half of the country’s homes have regained the value they lost during the recession, according to new data.

But in the Washington area – where the recession didn’t take as big a bite out of home prices as most other parts of the country – the rebound has not been as robust, according to a new report from Zillow.

Nationally, the median home value is $217,300, up 8.3 percent over the past year and 8.4 percent above the highest point of the housing bubble. The median home value has surpassed its bubble peak level in 21 of the nation’s 35 largest housing markets.

But the Washington area is not among them. Only 22 percent of homes in the metro area have surpassed the pre-recession peak, with the median home value of $399,500 up 4.2 percent from a year before. Figures include the entire metro area, and include single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums.

In places that have seen some of the strongest growth since the market crashed, nearly every home is now more valuable than it was during the boom years. In Denver, the typical home is worth $397,700, which is 66 percent higher than its pre-recession peak in June 2006. In that market, 99.6 percent of all homes are worth more than they were during the bubble.

While half of the country’s homes have regained all of their lost value, that still leaves many trailing in the housing recovery. One example: Despite strong median home-value growth in recent months in Las Vegas – home values have grown at a double-digit pace for 15 consecutive months – less than 1 percent of homes there have fully recovered from the housing bust.

“Even a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, and five-plus years into the recovery, it’s clear that the housing boom and bust was felt very differently in various markets – and is still being felt today in many,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.

“In markets like Las Vegas that got farthest ahead of themselves during the boom, and consequently fell the most, a large majority of homes are still not worth as much today as they were a decade ago,” Terrazas said. “But in markets like Denver that were more stable a decade ago, many more homes are worth more now than ever before.”

There are wide fluctuations among metro areas nationally. The percentage of homes whose value is now above the pre-recession peak were 29 percent in New York, 64 percent in Los Angeles, 15 percent in Chicago, 98 percent in Dallas, 10 percent in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, 83 percent in Boston, 96 percent in San Francisco, 13 percent in Phoenix, 97 percent in Seattle, 9 percent in Baltimore, 88 percent in Charlotte, 5 percent in Orlando and 99 percent in Austin.

Nationally, a limited supply of homes for sale remains a challenge for home shoppers. Inventory is down 4.8 percent from this time a year ago, although the pace of the decline has slowed considerably.

This article provided by NewsEdge.