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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 second quarter of 2017.

New this quarter:

There again were no changes in the top 10 "most recovered" group in the second quarter of 2017, but all moved further above previous "boom time" peaks for home prices, tightening their hold on their respective positions. Two markets did move up within the top 10, though, with the San Francisco and Buffalo metro areas each climbing up by one to claim the number 6 and 9 spots respectively.

The group of ten markets that is still the furthest distance from full price recovery saw one change, as the Tucson, AZ metro improved enough to climb out of the group with the greatest distance yet to cover; into its place dropped the Elgin, IL metro area, which suffered a setback in its price recovery after a sizable leap in the first quarter. In the group of 10 with the largest gap, several other areas shuffled their ranks, as the Las Vegas metro retaking the lowest spot on the list after climbing off the floor in the first quarter. To be fair, the metro remains in a virtual tie with the Riverside-San Bernardino metro for the area with the most ground yet to cover.

To see what's happened with home prices during the time you've owned your home, check our home value estimator, MyHPI. To see where you are in your mortgage, use our mortgage amortization calculator. The combination of price increase and your retirement of the amount you owe may see with a larger equity stake than you think.

As home prices continue to rise almost everywhere, another two metro areas joined the "fully recovered" group this quarter. In the second quarter of 2017, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA and the Tacoma-Lakewood, WA areas both joined the ranks of the fully recovered. The Los Angeles metro is now 1.05 percent above "boom era" peaks, while the Tacoma metro moved up smartly and now is some 4.82 percent above last decade's highs.

Currently, 62 of the top 100 metros are at new highs.

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 Cleveland-Elyria, OH and El Paso, TX metro areas. Three more metros are close, but will need a big third-quarter bump to get them there -- the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY and New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ metro areas are within reasonable range of making the leap in the next quarter (or two).

Aside from the 62 metros that have recovered, (and including the "nearly recovered" group above) there are a total of 16 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 276.32 255.78 468.56 69.57%
Austin-Round Rock, TX 270.09 260.29 433.63 60.55%
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (MSAD) 172.49 165.33 270.73 56.95%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 200.73 194.06 296.75 47.84%
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (MSAD) 169.05 161.04 249.34 47.49%
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA (MSAD) 277.18 214.55 402.35 45.16%
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 224.82 197.17 317.93 41.42%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 216.22 199.33 296.60 37.18%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 147.06 146.36 195.34 32.83%
Pittsburgh, PA 180.55 176.44 237.26 31.41%

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 almost a 100 percent rise from the metro's lowest value (a figure reached in the fourth quarter of 2011), there is still a gap of almost 34 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.  

It's important to note that even in markets that have not yet returned to previous peaks, it's not as though borrowers have no equity in their homes. Underwater or no- or low-equity situations might only exist for a relatively small slice of properties purchased during peak pricing times of last decade's boom.

For example, if someone purchased a home in the Sacramento, CA metro area before the fourth quarter of 2004, our calculations suggest that the value of your home has recently risen to or is now slightly above its original purchase price. This is also the case if the home was purchased when prices had begun to decline, in this case after the first quarter of 2007. In this metro, only homes purchased in this 2.5-year window have yet to reclaim original purchase values.

In either case, years of making regular payments should also by now given the homeowner a considerable equity stake. In the case of a home purchased in late 2004 (and assuming no refinance of the mortgage) the homeowner would have paid off about 24 percent of their original loan balance by now; for a home purchased early in 2007, about 16 percent of the loan amount will have been retired by now. This calculation doesn't include any downpayment the homeowner may have made, so the equity stake would be increased by that amount. In the case of a pre-1Q04 purchase, the homeowner would likely have a minimum 32 percent equity stake.

Similar experiences should be seen in other markets, too. Also, as home prices generally continue to increase over time, this "yet unrecovered time period" will continue to narrow. For example, in Sacramento, this time period has shrunk by two quarters over the last year alone.

Metro NamePeak ValueBottom ValueCurrent Value% Needed to Regain Peak
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 268.93 100.81 201.19 33.67%
Bakersfield, CA 253.39 118.24 189.92 33.42%
Stockton-Lodi, CA 273.28 107.42 211.10 29.46%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 317.72 132.02 246.90 28.68%
Fresno, CA 273.07 137.56 217.85 25.35%
Camden, NJ (MSAD) 224.65 164.98 182.84 22.87%
New Haven-Milford, CT 202.57 154.29 165.03 22.75%
Elgin, IL (MSAD) 202.55 129.88 166.54 21.62%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 241.78 182.50 202.69 19.29%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 274.04 127.71 231.25 18.50%

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 177.11 141.79 180.81 n/a 2.09%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 184.39 168.77 188.68 n/a 2.33%
Albuquerque, NM 239.28 189.26 224.98 6.36% n/a
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 205.56 152.75 175.83 16.91% n/a
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA (MSAD) 288.37 197.4 302.08 n/a 4.75%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 199.72 140.35 235.43 n/a 17.88%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 270.1 207.4 249.48 8.27% n/a
Baton Rouge, LA 229.02 213.24 269.99 n/a 17.89%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 213.56 176.63 232.85 n/a 9.03%
Boise City, ID 297.98 164.38 324.16 n/a 8.79%
Boston, MA (MSAD) 270.84 223.04 299.04 n/a 10.41%
Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA (MSAD) 257.85 214.06 296.74 n/a 15.08%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC 286.23 203.41 342.55 n/a 19.68%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 196.22 160.08 240.58 n/a 22.61%
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL (MSAD) 238.66 160.46 209.57 13.88% n/a
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 180.27 150.23 197.27 n/a 9.43%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 174.42 136.62 173.06 0.79% n/a
Colorado Springs, CO 260.04 216.01 319.36 n/a 22.81%
Columbia, SC 187.75 160.2 195.9 n/a 4.34%
Columbus, OH 181.03 160.66 226.05 n/a 24.87%
Dayton, OH 156.33 125.98 159.43 n/a 1.98%
Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI (MSAD) 208.25 114.47 193.92 7.39% n/a
El Paso, TX 195.35 168.82 193.51 0.95% n/a
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL (MSAD) 353.33 177.56 314.32 12.41% n/a
Gary, IN (MSAD) 186.76 158.18 197.17 n/a 5.57%
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 185.77 140.46 227.72 n/a 22.58%
Greensboro-High Point, NC 168.08 146.4 178.79 n/a 6.37%
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 193.89 175.25 238.37 n/a 22.94%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 173.65 145.3 153.38 13.22% n/a
Honolulu ('Urban Honolulu'), HI 196.32 174.85 243.06 n/a 23.81%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 161.51 146.71 198.61 n/a 22.97%
Jacksonville, FL 300.71 180.35 273.39 9.99% n/a
Kansas City, MO-KS 201.1 164.53 235.2 n/a 16.96%
Knoxville, TN 205.89 178.71 223.96 n/a 8.78%
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI (MSAD) 209.01 139.86 178.59 17.03% n/a
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 191.23 182.37 207.41 n/a 8.46%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (MSAD) 277.73 166.65 280.66 n/a 1.05%
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 200.47 187.66 244.8 n/a 22.11%
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 176.48 144.47 189.91 n/a 7.61%
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (MSAD) 420 214.99 370.93 13.23% n/a
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 236.53 191.12 241.71 n/a 2.19%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 265.16 190.13 274.59 n/a 3.56%
Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA (MSAD) 213.71 185.22 215.17 n/a 0.68%
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY (MSAD) 302.31 238.92 286.19 5.63% n/a
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 264.72 223.45 297.89 n/a 12.53%
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (MSAD) 273.21 219.51 257.99 5.90% n/a
Newark, NJ-PA (MSAD) 268.25 207.86 246.24 8.94% n/a
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 344.16 162.08 301.12 14.29% n/a
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA (MSAD) 308.69 163.52 327.82 n/a 6.20%
Oklahoma City, OK 201.52 193.01 249.72 n/a 23.92%
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 201.3 181.51 238.31 n/a 18.39%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 288.69 142.13 252.99 14.11% n/a
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 284.69 172.18 267.83 6.30% n/a
Philadelphia, PA (MSAD) 239.8 207.01 265.22 n/a 10.60%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 342.41 163.14 316.41 8.22% n/a
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 338.49 250.72 429.42 n/a 26.86%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 243.31 178.57 227.95 6.74% n/a
Raleigh, NC 200.69 178.62 253.93 n/a 26.53%
Richmond, VA 240.66 184.6 246.11 n/a 2.26%
Rochester, NY 140.02 135.29 157.05 n/a 12.16%
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA 257.89 125.82 232.62 10.86% n/a
Salt Lake City, UT 354.9 263.22 413.75 n/a 16.58%
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 298.64 189.61 310.99 n/a 4.14%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 289.58 198.74 365.32 n/a 26.16%
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA (MSAD) 299.09 206.12 384.6 n/a 28.59%
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD (MSAD) 280.1 206.31 254.91 9.88% n/a
St. Louis, MO-IL 212.26 174.67 223.24 n/a 5.17%
Syracuse, NY 149.98 141.97 161.64 n/a 7.77%
Tacoma-Lakewood, WA (MSAD) 296.07 181.85 310.35 n/a 4.82%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 313.99 171.62 300.8 4.38% n/a
Tucson, AZ 309.52 175.44 261.27 18.47% n/a
Tulsa, OK 191.51 172.24 220.82 n/a 15.30%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 275.13 206.99 241.46 13.94% n/a
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI (MSAD) 206.8 123.99 213.85 n/a 3.41%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (MSAD) 284.62 205.89 290.37 n/a 2.02%
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL (MSAD) 322.82 153.63 298.36 8.20% n/a
Wichita, KS 183.85 165.18 201.41 n/a 9.55%
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ (MSAD) 216.82 165.21 192.23 12.79% n/a
Winston-Salem, NC 173.89 152.82 185.39 n/a 6.61%
Worcester, MA-CT 231.92 170.1 216.19 7.28% 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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