Special Report

Eight Housing Markets at All-Time Highs

4. Marion County, Ind.
> Pct. change from 2007-2008: 39.4%
> Average March price: $116,000
> Change in foreclosures: -35.1%
> Unemployment rate: 6.2%

Since 2008, home prices in Marion County have risen 39.4%, to a current all-time high of $116,000. Unlike much of the U.S., home prices in Indianapolis continued to climb through 2009, when the average home price reached $104,483. Although annual home prices did slightly dip in the following years, they remained above 2008 levels, and began rising again soon thereafter. Even with these gains, the average home price as of March was just $116,000, lower than in most counties for which data was available. Marion County is home to over 900,000 residents, largely living in the city of Indianapolis, with which it shares a unified city-county government.

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3. Buchanan County, Mo.
> Pct. change from 2007-2008: 41.1%
> Average March price: $139,450
> Change in foreclosures: N/A
> Unemployment rate: N/A

The average home price in Buchanan County was exceptionally low as of 2008, at just $98,829. Since the housing crisis, however, average prices have rebounded considerably, rising more than 41% since then, as of this March. Even more remarkable, Buchanan County’s housing market actually hit an even lower point in 2011, when the average price of a home dropped to $93,050. Still, Buchanan County has just under 90,000 residents, far less than most markets where homes are selling at record prices. Such a relatively small population may cause figures to fluctuate considerably over shorter periods of time.

2. Delaware County, Pa.
> Pct. change from 2007-2008: 54.9%
> Average price 2014: $295,000
> Change in foreclosures: 6.1%
> Unemployment rate: 6.1%

Average annual home prices in Delaware County, located in the Philadelphia metro area, only dropped slightly from their 2007 level, when the average price of a home was $185,742. Yet recently, Delaware County home prices have been on the rise, reaching an average of nearly $300,000 in March, among the highest figures nationwide. While high home prices increase homeowners’ equity and often bring down the level of distress, foreclosures in Delaware County increased more than 6% between the first quarters of 2013 and this year. As of March, the median home price over the preceding 12 months of $287,000 was 4.6 times the projected 2014 median household income, a considerably higher ratio than in most U.S. counties.

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1. Jefferson County, Ky.
> Pct. change from 2007-2008: 63.1%
> Average March price: $160,000
> Change in foreclosures: -33.0%
> Unemployment rate: 8.1%

The average home price in Jefferson County, which merged with the city of Louisville in 2003, was just $73,879 in 2009, among the lower average home prices nationwide. Since then, however, home values have increased dramatically, rising every year to reach $160,000 on average in 2014. As a result, the area’s home prices are up 63% from Jefferson County’s 2007 average home price of $92,133. Foreclosures, too, are on the decline, having fallen 33% between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis last year profiled Louisville as an example of a metro area that had successfully transitioned from an industrial to a service-based economy.

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