There’s no doubt that the real estate market has recovered from the lows experienced during and after the recession. Still, studies show the overall health of the market can vary dramatically from one region to the next.
There are a number of geographical factors that influence prices and sales. Multi-family units and rental properties are in higher demand in certain urban areas than they are in small, rural towns; vacation and seasonal homes are much more valuable in the more enticing travel destinations; different materials that drive trends are easier to find and cheaper in certain regions.
An interesting thing to note is that some of the states most affected during the market’s collapse are now experiencing the biggest windfall. Based on a report put out by real estate auction and analytics company TenX, Tampa – a city that saw an incredibly high rate of foreclosure over the previous decade – now boasts the healthiest housing market in the country.
According to Rick Sharga, TenX chief marketing officer, these changing numbers are driven by a few different factors. “Florida is recovering very nicely from an economic standpoint,” Sharga says. “We’ve seen unemployment numbers drop pretty dramatically there. We’ve seen job growth and wage growth stick for a few years now, and we’ve seen a very steady increase in both the sales of homes and home prices.”
Tampa isn’t alone in the Florida housing resurgence. Jacksonville is also among the top five healthiest real estate markets, based on the research done by TenX. Like with Tampa, population growth is a key figure in Jacksonville’s success.
Just ahead of Jacksonville on the list is Las Vegas, NV, which was likely the hardest hit American city when the housing bubble burst. While Las Vegas prices are still notably lower than they were at the height of the market boom, that just seems to add an extra bit of allure for Nevadans getting back into the real estate game.
The recovery in this market, Sharga points out, makes perfect sense. “What we’re seeing is a return to population growth. Prior to the housing bust, Las Vegas had some of the steadiest population growth in the country. We’re starting to see that again. And we’re starting to see job growth.”
With population and job expansion providing pillars for the housing market, it’s no surprise that Dallas, TX, comes in at number two on the TenX list. Dallas managed to avoid the worst of the crash, and the city’s solid employment numbers and balanced economy do a lot to sustain local real estate.
What Dallas shows is the importance of economic diversity, as the city employs millions in vastly different fields. From healthcare to hospitality, these industries are steadily expanding and beating out the national average for job growth. A multi-faceted economy brings in a greater number of families, which in turn boosts the housing market.
And then there is the other end to this real estate spectrum. Large sections of Northern and Central New Jersey are dealing with very high prices and less-than-steady growth in both employment and population. In nearby Long Island, the picture looks similarly bleak.
The issue with these regions, and with many others, is not simply economic, nor is it entirely population-based. Some areas experience decent jobs growth while not seeing improvement in real estate numbers.
On the West Coast, San Francisco and Los Angeles provide examples of cities that are solid economically but have struggling housing markets. Both cities are wrestling to reel in affordability. With incredibly high prices and limited availability, there’s virtually no room for value to increase.
The problems facing California’s metropolitan housing markets are the clearest indicator that, while real estate has certainly been revived, it is still a market with some serious volatilities. There are dozens of factors affecting each city and region, and any prospective homebuyer needs to be aware of these conditions.
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