The Comeback Cities of the Housing Recovery

The nationwide housing market is now in full recovery mode after suffering greatly during and following the market meltdown, and it’s believed that 2013 will be a big year for many markets. However, some cities did better than others.

Las Vegas and Seattle had the two biggest year-over-year improvements in home asking prices between 2011 and 2012, according to data from the real estate tracking firm Trulia. Las Vegas saw prices climb 16.3 percent in 2012 after falling a total of 11.2 percent over the course of 2011, marking a total jump of 27.5 percent. Meanwhile, Seattle’s total appreciation was 24 percent behind a 10.2 percent appreciation in 2012 after a 13.8 percent decline the year before.

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“What a difference a year makes,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “In 2012, prices rose in 82 of the 100 largest metros, compared with just 12 metros seeing price increases in 2011. The 2012 price turnaround was strongest in the West and Southwest, where steady job growth and vanishing inventories lifted home prices by more than 10 percent in many markets.”

Rounding out the nation’s top three largest appreciations was Phoenix, which saw a 21.8 percent overall improvement, where prices have risen in both of the last two years (26 percent in 2012 and 4.2 percent in 2011), the report said. Oakland and San Jose, Calif., where the year-over-year differences came in at 21 and 20.8 percent, respectively. Oakland saw prices rise 12.7 percent last year after an 8.4 percent decline in 2011, while San Jose’s spiked 16.1 percent following a 4.7 percent drop the year prior.

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Kolko also noted that all these improvements bode well for property values nationwide headed into 2013, the report said. He added that because prices particularly accelerated in the third and fourth quarters of the year after a slow start, it’s reasonable to assume that rising prices will encourage more new constructions, and entice more existing homeowners to put their properties on the market once again.

However, some experts have also said that there may be some amount of slowdown in acceleration over the coming year, simply because the improvement in the last six months or so have been so impressive that they likely cannot be repeated.

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