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Home price recovery index: Which metros have improved the most, least?

Have home prices in your area fully recovered from the declines suffered during the Great Recession, or are they still struggling to make it back to the peaks they reached before the crisis?

HSH.com’s "Home price recovery index" uses the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) Home Price Index as a basis to determine which housing markets have fully recovered (or more) and which still lag behind the housing recovery. The time period represented runs from the first quarter of 1991 and runs through the first quarter of 2017.

New this quarter:  There were no changes in the top 10 "most recovered" group in the first quarter of 2017, but all moved further above previous "boom time" peaks for home prices, tightening their hold on their respective positions.

The group of ten markets that is still the furthest distance from full price also saw no changes in its members, but there were two notable moves. The Las Vegas metro area no longer has the greatest gap yet to recover, relinquishing that position to the Bakersfield, CA metro area; prices continue to steadily improve almost everywhere... except the Camden, NJ metro area, where the distance to the former high point for home prices (now a full 10 years ago) actually grew this quarter, pushing the market further down the list.

With prices rising almost everywhere, another five metro areas joined the "fully recovered" group, including Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI; Montgomery-Bucks-Chester Counties, PA; Richmond, VA; San Diego-Carlsbad, CA; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI. The Akron OH metro area had recovered, fell back in the fourth quarter of 2016 and has returned again to join the group where home prices are now at new highs.

Currently, 60 of the top 100 metros are at new highs.

There are two markets in our "nearly recovered" group. Our "nearly recovered" group contains those areas with current values only about one percent below previous highs and who are likely to be next in line to hit "fully recovered" in the next quarter or so. These are the Tacoma-Lakewood, WA and Cleveland-Elyria, OH metro areas.  Two more metros are close, but will need a big second quarter bump to get them there -- both the El Paso, TX and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA areas need to see prices rise by more than two percentage points to make the leap.

Aside from the 60 that have recovered, (and including the "nearly recovered" group above) there are a total of 14 markets now within 10 percent of previous peaks, a level potentially achievable by some in another year's time of steady price increases.

10 metro areas that have recovered the most

Metro NamePeak ValueBottom ValueCurrent ValueAmount Above Peak
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 276.45 256.01 462.10 67.16%
Austin-Round Rock, TX 270.26 260.17 420.69 55.66%
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (MSAD) 172.40 165.31 263.80 53.02%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 200.97 194.34 298.16 48.36%
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (MSAD) 169.15 161.09 242.66 43.46%
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 224.95 197.45 312.56 38.95%
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA (MSAD) 277.19 214.58 371.89 34.16%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 216.16 199.15 286.47 32.53%
Pittsburgh, PA 180.59 176.44 233.25 29.16%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 147.10 146.37 185.90 26.38%

10 metro areas that have recovered the least

It is important to note that many markets -- even the 10 that still remain the furthest from their boom-year price peaks -- have seen significant price recoveries since hitting their bottom values. However, home prices in areas like Las Vegas may have been inflated to such a degree that even when they return to a “normal” value they may still be well below their previous price peak.

For example, despite more than a 93 percent rise from the metro's lowest value (a figure reached in the fourth quarter of 2011), there is still a gap of over 38 percent yet to go in the Las Vegas metro. There are plenty of other markets with a similar tale to tell, and places where the home price recovery is happening at a much slower pace, too.  

New this quarter: The bottom group had no overall changes in the fourth quarter, but the Las Vegas metro area has relinquished its hold on the metro with the biggest gap yet to recover. The one-spot advance leaves the Bakersfield, CA metro with a 40.04 percent distance from current prices to former peaks, while Las Vegas' gap has shrunk to 38.15 percent -- continuing a significant narrowing, and one that was 49.72 percent just last year at this time.

The Camden, NJ metro area actually lost some traction during the quarter; home prices here have faded in the last two quarters after posting some solid gains earlier last year.

Metro NamePeak ValueBottom ValueCurrent Value% Needed to Regain Peak
Bakersfield, CA 253.34 118.32 180.90 40.04%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 268.71 100.72 194.50 38.15%
Stockton-Lodi, CA 273.25 107.50 202.69 34.81%
Fresno, CA 273.10 137.88 209.37 30.44%
Camden, NJ (MSAD) 224.66 165.40 176.02 27.63%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 317.54 131.70 250.45 26.79%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 274.00 127.68 222.77 23.00%
New Haven-Milford, CT 202.71 153.91 164.82 22.99%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 241.94 182.44 197.78 22.33%
Tucson, AZ 309.64 176.01 254.09 21.86%

How has the value of YOUR home changed?

HSH.com has developed a tool that allows you to see how the price change in your market has affected the value of your home. With our “Home Value Estimator,” you select your market and the time frame in which you have owned your home to estimate how the changes in your market have impacted your home’s value. If your market still hasn't fully recovered and you think your home is still underwater, find out when you'll have positive home equity again with our KnowEquity When calculator.

Neither most nor least: 80 more metro areas

Here's a look at the remaining 80 metro areas from the FHFA's HPI list.

Metro NamePeak ValueBottom ValueCurrent Value% Needed to Regain PeakAmount Above Peak
Akron, OH 177.13 141.8 178.43 n/a 0.73%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 184.39 168.83 189.27 n/a 2.65%
Albuquerque, NM 239.12 189.12 223.43 7.02% n/a
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 205.92 153.07 171.87 19.81% n/a
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA (MSAD) 288.24 197.48 299.3 n/a 3.84%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 199.71 140.21 229.68 n/a 15.01%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 270.19 207.37 247.69 9.08% n/a
Baton Rouge, LA 229.1 213.64 264.15 n/a 15.30%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 213.55 176.89 237.63 n/a 11.28%
Boise City, ID 297.9 164.92 313.31 n/a 5.17%
Boston, MA (MSAD) 270.75 223.14 292.4 n/a 8.00%
Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA (MSAD) 257.78 213.73 288.37 n/a 11.87%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC 286.96 203.35 337.91 n/a 17.76%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 196.55 160.38 240.64 n/a 22.43%
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL (MSAD) 238.76 160.65 210.82 13.25% n/a
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 180.25 150.14 193.81 n/a 7.52%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 174.53 136.81 173.46 0.62% n/a
Colorado Springs, CO 260.16 218.22 307.79 n/a 18.31%
Columbia, SC 187.79 159 193.23 n/a 2.90%
Columbus, OH 181.05 160.67 213.99 n/a 18.19%
Dayton, OH 156.43 125.84 156.46 n/a 0.02%
Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI (MSAD) 208.31 114.49 189.92 9.68% n/a
El Paso, TX 195.29 169.02 190.98 2.26% n/a
Elgin, IL (MSAD) 202.51 129.7 174.88 15.80% n/a
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL (MSAD) 353.26 177.44 301.09 17.33% n/a
Gary, IN (MSAD) 186.85 158.04 193.71 n/a 3.67%
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 186.03 140.64 228.4 n/a 22.78%
Greensboro-High Point, NC 168.19 146.36 173.06 n/a 2.90%
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 194.13 175.14 239.67 n/a 23.46%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 173.73 145.67 152.65 13.81% n/a
Honolulu ('Urban Honolulu'), HI 196.61 175.09 236.13 n/a 20.10%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 161.76 146.5 190.35 n/a 17.67%
Jacksonville, FL 300.75 180.04 277.58 8.35% n/a
Kansas City, MO-KS 201.15 164.89 232.46 n/a 15.57%
Knoxville, TN 206.35 178.25 227.06 n/a 10.04%
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI (MSAD) 208.73 140.17 181.51 15.00% n/a
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 191.28 182.85 203.38 n/a 6.33%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (MSAD) 277.66 166.69 270.17 2.77% n/a
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 200.47 187.71 241.92 n/a 20.68%
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 176.47 144.39 186.19 n/a 5.51%
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (MSAD) 420.17 215.37 369.06 13.85% n/a
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 236.58 191.24 238.56 n/a 0.84%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 265.28 190.21 271.34 n/a 2.28%
Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA (MSAD) 213.7 185.61 214.84 n/a 0.53%
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY (MSAD) 302.44 239.38 280.1 7.98% n/a
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 264.75 223.35 291.75 n/a 10.20%
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (MSAD) 273.43 220.06 258.49 5.78% n/a
Newark, NJ-PA (MSAD) 268.35 208.08 239.89 11.86% n/a
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 344.33 161.98 297.08 15.90% n/a
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA (MSAD) 308.5 163.6 321.31 n/a 4.15%
Oklahoma City, OK 201.62 192.99 248.93 n/a 23.46%
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 201.18 181.28 235.69 n/a 17.15%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 288.71 142.2 246.73 17.01% n/a
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 284.69 172.35 263.69 7.96% n/a
Philadelphia, PA (MSAD) 239.63 206.25 260.32 n/a 8.63%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 342.55 163.11 309.9 10.54% n/a
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 338.78 251.23 421.73 n/a 24.48%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 243.41 178.66 220.74 10.27% n/a
Raleigh, NC 200.88 178.81 246.64 n/a 22.78%
Richmond, VA 240.74 184.56 248.41 n/a 3.19%
Rochester, NY 140.17 135.41 154.68 n/a 10.35%
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA 257.93 125.82 226.65 13.80% n/a
Salt Lake City, UT 355.2 263.4 407.31 n/a 14.67%
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 298.62 189.69 300.5 n/a 0.63%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 289.68 198.36 364.66 n/a 25.88%
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA (MSAD) 299.37 206.4 364.98 n/a 21.92%
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD (MSAD) 280.46 206.44 254.95 10.01% n/a
St. Louis, MO-IL 212.27 175.05 220.44 n/a 3.85%
Syracuse, NY 150.37 142.13 159.89 n/a 6.33%
Tacoma-Lakewood, WA (MSAD) 296.33 181.71 295.34 0.34% n/a
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 313.85 171.41 288.05 8.96% n/a
Tulsa, OK 191.55 172.1 221.28 n/a 15.52%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 275.11 206.86 241.57 13.88% n/a
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI (MSAD) 206.93 124.1 210.48 n/a 1.72%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (MSAD) 284.59 206.05 286.29 n/a 0.60%
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL (MSAD) 322.19 153.76 294.97 9.23% n/a
Wichita, KS 184.01 165.21 195.57 n/a 6.28%
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ (MSAD) 216.99 165.76 190.84 13.70% n/a
Winston-Salem, NC 173.91 152.85 183.95 n/a 5.77%
Worcester, MA-CT 231.95 170.03 215.46 7.65% n/a

More about the HPI

The Home Price Index is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. It has been published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and precursor agencies since the fourth quarter of 1995.

For each market, the index uses 1990 home prices as a basis. Those dollars are "normalized" to a value of 100 for each market; that is, regardless of the actual dollar cost, the index value for a given market becomes 100. For example, a home price in Allentown, PA in 1990 might have been $65,000; this becomes a base value for Allentown of 100, and changes since then are presented as percentage changes from that initial 100 value.

The HPI is based on transactions involving conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Only mortgage transactions on single-family properties are included. The HPI does not include property transactions backed by FHA, VA, USDA or non-conforming (i.e. jumbo) mortgages.

The HPI is updated each quarter as additional mortgages are purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinances on the same properties.

The HPI shows the relative change in prices in a metropolitan area from quarter to quarter or period to period. HSH.com has pulled out information from each area to show the amount of change from 1990 to the pre-housing-crisis peak, the low achieved during or after the peak, and how much improvement has taken place since that near-term bottom.

The FHFA uses the revised Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Divisions as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in February 2013 (and revised in July 2015). If specified criteria are met and an MSA contains a single core population greater than 2.5 million, the MSA is divided into Metropolitan Divisions.

For more details on the HPI and how it is put together, see http://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx

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