Everyone loves a great comeback story.
And there are plenty to go around. Rocky. Steve Jobs. The Chicago Cubs. And perhaps the most impressive comeback of all, the one that hits us exactly where we live: the housing industry.
After all, the 2007 real estate crash was a trauma that cut a wide swath of destruction through the ranks of home buyers, sellers and owners—and just about everyone affected by the bleak recession that followed. Although it has taken several agonizing years, the housing market is finally looking good again in much of America. A classic comeback!
But wait, there's a twist to this tale: The path to housing recovery has not run smoothly across the United States. Some cities have rebuilt and recovered. Some are back even stronger than they were in their heady, pre-crash days. And yet others continue to flounder, plagued by swaths of bank-owned homes.
The median home price bounded back to $227,000 nationally last year, already higher than the market peak of $220,400 back in 2005. Compared to the rock-bottom level in 2011, home prices have improved by 26%. (Adjusted for inflation, the current prices have recouped about 80% of their peak value.)
The cities that achieved some of the speediest and most definitive recoveries have been the knowledge hubs—places clogged with colleges, research centers and young brainiacs, where a nimble, educated workforce helped attract new businesses. And cities that have done a good job diversifying their economy have also been big real estate winners in the past decade.
real estate recovery real estate crash median home price housing prices new home construction new homes new home ambassador builder trade in program