There’s been good news about the housing market in recent months, as both sales and prices have been gaining. But, as N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains, the improvement hasn’t been similar across the country.
“It’s been uneven …, and I don’t think this should be surprising, because although we talk about a national housing market, really when you come down to it, housing markets are still all local. And during the housing crash, of course, we had many metro areas where you saw prices maybe go down 50, 75 percent.
“You had other metro areas where the decline was much more modest, 10 to 15 percent. Now what we have seen thus far in terms of the housing rebound — and fortunately we are now seeing a housing rebound, a rebound of housing prices is that those markets that suffered the biggest losses on a percentage basis are actually starting to see the biggest gains on a percentage basis, and these are markets like Las Vegas, south Florida, and Arizona. In terms, however, of markets that were more stable, didn’t lose as much during the housing crash, markets like San Francisco and New York City, they’re having gains, but not nearly as strong.
“And I think this stands to reason, what we have seen over the last year is a lot of bargain hunters going into those markets, like I said, south Florida, Las Vegas, who are saying, ‘My gosh, I can’t believe the prices are this low. We have to buy. The bottom is here.’ And that buying has driven up those prices.
“So, again the bottom line here is when people hear about national housing trends, certainly pay attention to those. But again, everything with the housing market ultimately becomes local.”