7 Cities Leading the Housing Recovery

August 21, 2013

The housing recovery rolls on, with some markets seeing more progress than others. RealtyTrac recently released its first Housing Market Recovery Index, which reveals the metros leading the housing recovery. 

The index showed that upstate New York, southwest Florida, and Northern California's Bay Area are leaders in the housing recovery. On the other hand, markets in northern Maryland, southeast Pennsylvania, and downstate Illinois are still showing signs of lagging the furthest behind in the recovery, according to RealtyTrac.

“The U.S. housing market has clearly shifted to recovery mode over the past 18 months, with home prices consistently rising and foreclosures falling closer to pre-housing bubble levels,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Still, symptoms of the distress that plagued the housing market over the past seven years continue to linger, particularly in the form of a high percentage of underwater borrowers and distressed sales. This lingering distress is creating an uneven pace of recovery across different local markets.” 

For its Housing Market Recovery Index, RealtyTrac used seven different measures to evaluate the 100 largest metro’s recovery: the unemployment rate, underwater loan percentage, foreclosure activity percentage change from peak, distressed sales, investor share, cash purchases, and median home price change from the bottom. The following are the metros that ranked highest on its Housing Market Recovery Index: 

1. Rochester, N.Y.
Median home price change from trough: 93%
Unemployment rate: 7%
Underwater home owners: 7%

2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
Median home price change from trough: 82%
Unemployment rate: 7.4%
Underwater home owners: 42%

3. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.
Median home price change from trough: 44%
Unemployment rate: 6.4%
Underwater home owners: 9%

4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
Median home price change from trough: 70%
Unemployment rate: 6.9%
Underwater home owners: 9%

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.
Median home price change from trough: 96%
Unemployment rate: 6.5%
Underwater home owners: 17%

6. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.
Median home price change from trough: 58%
Unemployment rate: 5.9%
Underwater home owners: 15%

7. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
Median home price change from trough: 57%
Unemployment rate: 8.9%
Underwater home owners: 36%

Source: RealtyTrac

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