56 percent of America’s top 300 markets now fully recovered

NORFOLK, Va. (October 26, 2015) – Homes.com®, leading online real estate destination, has released its August 2015 Local Market Index, a price performance summary of repeat sales in the top 100 markets, and the companion Midsize Markets Report for the next 200 largest markets. Among the nation’s top 300 markets, a total of 168 or 56 percent have achieved full price recovery—two more than the 166 markets reported in June.

By August, 51 of the top 100 markets had made a complete price recovery — one more than the prior month. Additionally, 117 of 200 midsize markets had seen a complete price recovery — one more than in July.  

The number of markets declining on a 3-month average basis decreased to 10 of the top 100 in August compared to 16 for the prior month. Measured year-over-year, all 100 markets are still positive by a healthy margin.

“Strong sales and appreciating prices in many markets continue to fuel a period of significant progress in the housing recovery across the country. Millions of homeowners in the 168 fully recovered markets, along with the remaining markets that are still below peak prices, have seen their equity increase significantly, restoring strength to the economy and financial security to families,” said David Mele, president of Homes.com.

Southern Markets Lead Recovery; West Remains Dominant in Annual Gains

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC was the newest addition to the top 100 recovered markets, and Bremerton-Silverdale, WA was the latest midsize market to rebound (100.04 percent).

Of the top 100 markets, the markets with minimal price declines have rebounded with an average of 109 percent. Of the moderate price decline markets, the average rebound is 102 percent of the prior peak price. Of the severe price decline markets, the average rebound is 84 percent.

The South continued to dominate with 23 markets fully recovered, while the Midwest came in second with 11 markets recovered as of August.

National Summary—Western Markets Lead Price Gains

Boise City, ID had the highest annual percentage growth in August for the second month in a row, with prices 8.04 percent higher than the same month last year.  San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA moved into second place with annual growth of 7.74 percent. All ten of the fastest growing markets were located in the West—up from nine the previous month. In the West, California remained well represented with five of the top ten markets — one more than in July.   

The Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC market posted the largest 3-month average gain in August at 0.62 percent.  It was one of four markets in the South to make the top ten for 3-month average gains. The others were Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL; North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL; and Raleigh, NC.

From a regional perspective, the South recorded the largest 3-month average gain of 0.62 percent, followed by the West at 0.58 percent. The worst performing market in August was also located in the South at -0.14 percent.

Largest Markets Summary

  • Western markets continued to lead the recovery among top 100 markets.  Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (115.58 percent rebound); Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (113.63 percent); Austin-Round Rock, TX (113.51 percent); Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (113.06 percent); San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (112.91 percent); Oklahoma City, OK (112.78 percent); Tulsa, OK (112.75 percent); Urban Honolulu, HI (112.41 percent); McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX (111.95 percent); and New Orleans-Metairie, LA (111.50 percent).
  • Large markets trailing the national rebound are located in markets that suffered large numbers of foreclosures and price declines during the housing crash.  The bottom ten large markets by rebound percentage were Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL (76.66 percent); Fresno, CA (76.64 percent); Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL (74.22 percent); North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL (74.17 percent); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (73.48 percent); Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL (72.56 percent); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL (71.90 percent); Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (71.49 percent); Stockton-Lodi, CA (71.03 percent); and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (68.77 percent).
  • On a year-over-year basis, the West also dominated.  The top five large markets were Boise City, ID; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA; Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO; Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA; and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA.
  • Top performing markets by region were Richmond, VA (East); Stockton-Lodi, CA (West); Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI (Midwest); and Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC (South).

Western Region Dominates Midsize Markets

The midsize market with the best 3-month average growth in August was Wheeling, WV-OH which increased 5.14 percent. This was followed by Reno, NV, which grew 0.86 percent. The top performing midsize markets for August measured over a 3-month average were well dispersed across the country; this was in contrast to the prior month when the eastern region saw much of the strength.

Although the midsize market with the strongest year-over-year growth was located in the East (Wheeling, WV-OH at 19.47 percent), all of the other top performing markets were in the West. This has been the case for many months and points to sustained robust price recovery in that part of the country.

In August’s Local Market Report, 168 out of 200 midsize markets increased over a 3-month average, up from 164 the previous month. The greatest number of decreasing markets were found in the South (19) and the Midwest (8). As was the case with the Top 100, all midsize markets continued to show gains when measured year over year.

Midsize Markets by Region and Division:

  • Short-term strength was well dispersed throughout the country in August. This is in contrast to the previous month when the largest gains were seen on the East Coast (northeastern and southern regions).
  • Short-term weakness was seen in the East South Central division and the South Atlantic division.

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