Are ‘Tortoise’ Markets Beating ‘Hares’ In Home Price Recovery?

After observing a “first in, first out” recovery over the past year in which markets hardest hit during the housing downturn experienced the fastest-paced recovery, Clear Capital is now examining whether the housing market, in fact, follows the allegory of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The analytics firm observed price movement and offered its predictions for the new year in its Home Data Index released Monday.

Nationally, Clear Capital expects a major deceleration in home price gains this year. After rising 11.3 percent in 2013, Clear Capital expects prices to rise just 3.4 percent in 2014 – “a sign of calibration toward long-run historical average rates of growth.”

This slowdown “is a healthy move for the broader housing recovery as gains move back into a more sustainable, historical range,” said Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

Nine of the 50 largest metro areas are poised for price declines this year, while 34 should reach price gains of up to 5 percent, according to Clear Capital.

Seven markets will experience price gains higher than 5 percent, according to Villacorta.

Of the top 50 markets, Chicago is expected to experience the greatest home price increase this year – an 11.2 percent rise.

Atlanta, Georgia (7.5 percent), San Francisco, California (6.5 percent), Fresno, California (6.1 percent), and Tampa, Florida (5.5 percent) fall in line next at the top of the list.

At the other end of the spectrum, the greatest price decline is expected to take place in Richmond, Virginia, where prices are expected to fall 3.6 percent this year.

Next in line at the bottom of the list are Seattle Washington (-3.1 percent), Hartford, Connecticut (-3 percent), Virginia Beach, Virginia (-2.7 percent), and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (-2.5 percent).

In the tortoise versus hare analogy, Villacorta points to Phoenix as an obvious hare in the recent recovery.

Phoenix’s prices have swung drastically over the past several years, rising 98.5 percent during bubble years from 2002 through 2006, and then plummeting 61.6 percent from their peak by 2011.

Since then, home prices in Phoenix have climbed 56.4 percent.

“In this first heat of the recovery from the run-up in mid-2002 to the trough in 2011, you could call the hares [such as Phoenix] the winners,” Clear Capital stated in its report.

In stark contrast to Phoenix, Denver, Colorado, deemed one of the tortoises, charted the slowest growth during the bubble years. From 2002 through 2006, home prices in Denver rose just 2.2 percent compared to Phoenix’s 98.5 percent and a national 46.2 percent.

When prices began to plummet across the nation, Denver was not exempt. Its prices fell 22.4 percent from their peak.

Since their bottom in 2008, Denver’s home prices have risen 28.9 percent.

With much more moderate valleys and peaks, “Denver is one of the only few markets to see current prices higher than 2006 levels,” Clear Capital reported.

Thus, it would appear slow and steady may win the race after all.

Furthermore, “[a]s observed over the last several years, skyrocketing gains followed by decimating declines don’t benefit long-term market participants who like slow and steady gains,” Villacorta said.

Looking forward, Villacorta also predicts “the homebuyer mix may shift more toward non-investor homebuyers” this year.

 

 
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About SanDiegoatHomeTeam
Christian van't Vlie and Ivana Milosevic. Helping sellers and buyers successfully reach their real estate goals while keeping them informed every step of the way, disclosing all known facts and real estate practice procedures so that all involved parties can make well-informed decision. We care and we are at your service.

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