Some lanes in the path to the housing recovery have been on an uptick and others have not.  Joe Kirchner, chief economist with Realtor.com says, “Nationally, median home prices have more than fully recovered. But at the local level, some markets have not yet followed suit.”  For example, in CA’s Los Angeles County, prices are up some 5.5% whereas Riverside County is down some 26%.

Realtors.com took a good look at the country’s 150 largest metro areas by measuring and comparing home prices, amount of new home construction, foreclosure rates, unemployment rates and household incomes of local residents to determine which areas rebounded best in 2016.  It turns out that the metros that rebounded the fastest and most definitively are, across the board, “…knowledge hubs clogged with colleges, research centers and brainiacs who attract new business and diversified economies.”

Source: Realtor

Here are Realtor.com’s 10 biggest comeback cities in U.S. real estate:

  1.  San Jose, CA – growth rate since 2011 = 57%; 2016 median home price – $835,200.  Silicon Valley had one of the worst foreclosure crises in the country.  Prices tumbled 24% compared to the national average of 18%.  But, Silicon Valley shrugged it off quickly with venture capital money streaming in.  The area then needed everything from engineers to cleaners.
  2. San Francisco, CA – growth rate since 2012 = 53%; 2016 median home price – $754,000.  The unemployment rate in 2010 was 9.9%. Home prices slipped by 30% in 2011 mostly due to inflated prices.  Today, “…all those IPO’s created many new millionaires…one moment, you’re eating take-out and the next, you’re rich…and want a new…or bigger house…” said Patrick Carlisle of Paragon Real Estate.
  3. Portland, OR – growth rate since  2012 = 43%; 2016 median home price = $335,400.  In 2009, unemployment was 10.9%.  The city was “saved” by people moving into it.  Today, Portland has the nation’s fastest growing economy according to real estate firm HHF.
  4. Grand Rapids, MI – growth rate since 2011 = 30%; 2016 median home price – $162,500.  In 2009, 1 in 9 people were out of work.  The city has a newfound emphasis on healthcare to add to its base of manufacturing.  “When you don’t put all your eggs into one basket, you recover a lot faster,”says Tim Mroz of Right Place.
  5. Provo, UT – growth rate since 2009 = 38%; 2016 median home price – $285,200.  BYU saved Provo from an unemployment crisis in 2007-09 but couldn’t save it from a real estate crisis.  There was a quick turnaround in 2010 fueled by the construction industry.  In 2015, Provo was one of the top markets for first time buyers.
  6. Colorado Springs, CO – growth rate since 2010 = 26%; 2016 median home price – $250,000.  In 2010, household income down to $17,200. from $51,700.  The city’s new motto…”Do it yourself government” with residents forced into municipal utility savings due to the tight cash flow situation. Close proximity to Denver helped the Springs more than a lot with a reasonable commute to the Springs lower home prices.
  7. North Port, FLA – growth rate from 2009 = 51%; 2016 median home price – $238,700.  South Florida was considered the poster child of the subprime mortgage crisis.  North Point-Sarasota was among the hardest hit.  Small, friendly retirement communities, a vibrant cultural arts scene and the historic downtown district have saved it.
  8. Charlotte, NC – growth rate since 2009 = 33%; 2016 median home price – $217,600.  America’s financial hub was also the hub of America’s economic slowdown.  Unemployment was down 12% in 2009. The city won 1,000’s of jobs by persuading companies to relocate using tax incentives.
  9. Boise, ID – growth rate since 2011 – 48%; 2016 median home price – $218,500.  During its lowest, Boise only had government jobs.  Overbuilding caused home prices to fall 35%.  Since 2011, there’s been steady job growth, due to poaching the tech industry.  Today, Boise is home to over 400 tech companies.
  10. Reno, NV – growth rate since 2009 = 77%; 2016 median home price – $300,100.  In 2009, the gambling industry was hit hard and 40% of Reno’s homes were in foreclosure as they’d lost 50% of their 2005 value.  Today, Reno is considered a “haven for doing business” with cheap real estate, no personal income taxes, virtually no corporate taxes. Tesla, Apple and others agree.