Sunday, May 01, 2011

Best Housing Markets

Some housing markets that didn't boom did find a way to bust. The foreclosure crisis hit more than bubble cities such as Las Vegas. Thus, I contend that the following piece of trivia isn't trivial:

According to statistics compiled by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, only three of the nation's 51 metro areas with a population of at least 1 million made it through the past 15 years without a single year of falling home values.

The three were Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh and Rochester.

That's 3 out of 51, or 6% of all metros tracked. I'd say that's statistically significant. But does it matter?

From the standpoint of resiliency, yes. I know that both Oklahoma City and Pittsburgh suffered through a much worse recession in the early 1980s than the current one. Both metros reformed in a way that the current economic climate favors. The same might be said about Rochester. I'll have to dig deeper into that hypothesis at a later date.

If someone asked me to predict a few unexpected boomtowns to emerge over the next few years, then I'd reply with this trio. But don't expect them to bubble up like the cities of the Foreclosure Belt. What was once considered to be modest growth is this era's ceiling.

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