Eight Housing Markets With the Longest Road to Recovery

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8. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL
> Years to recover:
4.3
> Home value peak:
5/1/2006
> Home value trough:
3/1/2012
> Pct. change peak to trough:
-45.7%
> Pct. change peak to January 2015:
-28.0%

Based on the most recent annual growth rate, housing values in the West Palm region are expected to recover to their 2006 high in a little over four years, or by early 2019. This was the eighth longest recovery time of the 50 areas reviewed. The area is one of several Florida regions where home values plummeted during the housing crisis. From their highs in May 2006, values in the area dropped almost 46% until they hit their lows in March 2012. After bottoming, those values then began an erratic upward climb, much like the national trend. values in West Palm advanced 5.1% in the year ended January 2013, 16.6% in the next 12 months but 8.0% in the following 12-month period.

Despite those increases, values now are still 28.0% below their May 2006 peak levels, worse than all but a few areas reviewed. As Hale explained, “economic performance as reflected in the jobs numbers is really key to understanding what’s going on in the housing market.” The area’s unemployment rate in 2006 was a low 3.7%, and soared closer to the trough period. As an attractive retirement destination, 34% of the area’s residents are over the age of 55, the highest share of the 50 areas reviewed.

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7. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA
> Years to recover:
5.5
> Home value peak:
10/1/2005
> Home value trough:
1/1/2012
> Pct. change peak to trough:
-48.3%
> Pct. change peak to January 2015:
-27.2%

Home values in Sacramento were down 27.2% from their October 2005 high. If values continue to grow at their most recent 12-month pace, 6.0%, they would recover completely in about five-and-a-half years, July 2021. Income, according to Hale, is one of the drivers of home-buying. Sacramento residents had one of the higher five-year average median incomes of the 50 CBSAs. The median income of $63,251 was more than $10,000 higher than the nation’s. Since peaking, the region’s home values fell more than 48% to their trough in January 2012. This was the fourth largest decline. values bounced back up 14.3% in the next 12 months and 16.3% in the 12 month after that. When Sacramento’s home values were their highest, the unemployment rate in the area was 4.9% but it more than doubled to 11.8% as home values plunged.

6. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
> Years to recover:
6.8
> Home value peak:
8/1/2006
> Home value trough:
4/1/2011
> Pct. change peak to trough:
-47.6%
> Pct. change peak to January 2015:
-31.6%

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford CBSA may be home to amusement parks, but what happened to the region’s home values was far from amusing. Area home values fell almost 48% between August 2006, when values peaked, and April 2011, when they hit bottom — one of the largest such declines. Values improved 5.8% in the 12 months through January 2015. If that pace continues, Orlando homes will have recovered all their lost values in just under seven years, late 2021.

The region’s five year median income, $48,671 was lower than the national median income over that period and the second lowest of the areas with the longest estimated housing recoveries. The Orlando unemployment rate, a miniscule 3.2% when home values were at their highest, more than tripled to 11.2% by 2010, a year before home values fell to their lowest. By 2013, the unemployment rate recovered to 7.1%. The movement of the unemployment rate and home values in Orlando was similar to the trajectory in many other regions. The unemployment rate was at its lowest when home values peaked, but reached its highest about a year before values troughed.