Real estate agents in many markets are left scratching their heads, while home values surge in San Francisco, in nearby Fresno they are seemingly spinning their wheels. Bloomberg reports a new study from Trulia finds that less than 3 percent of the homes in Fresno and its suburbs have returned to pre-recession levels.
In fact, median home values are $78,000 below the pre-recession benchmarks. This difference can be seen as a snapshot of the dynamics at work in the national landscape a decade after the housing crisis and ensuing recession.
One bit of news that will give pause to agents: Trulia notes that just 1 in 3 homes are worth more now than they were at their peak. Yes, values have increased in high-demand areas like the Bay area and Denver, and job centers like Dallas and Nashville have flourished. Nationwide, there are more losers than winners.
There are no lucky sevens coming up in Las Vegas, Tucson or even Fresno. Agents in losing markets, including 28 metro areas where less than 10 percent of homes have recovered their pre-recession value. In Vegas, it is less than 1 percent, with median sales prices down $91,000 from their high-water mark before the housing crisis. Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, told Bloomberg his data correlates with other measures, such as gains in income and total population.
“It’s a reflection of just how well a metro area has recovered, broadly speaking.”
According to McLaughlin, any discussion of a new housing bubble is premature, given the large percentage of homes yet to recoup peak values. Moreover the tepid recovery could hamper many markets, much to the consternation of agents there. He said there were fewer homes for sale in March than any point in five years. Agents may find this lack of a full recovery is keeping some people on the fence when it comes to listing their homes. McLaughlin agreed.
“If people are aware of what their house was worth 10 or 12 years ago, and the house is worth less now, they may be holding back. They may be waiting, like you might with a stock, for it to get to a certain price—and then they will unload.”
As many agents can attest, the recovery has been slow. According to Trulia, the market has seen just five to six percentage points increase in values since the recession. At the current pace, full recovery won’t be achieved until the fall of 2025.