Housing Prices and the Great Reset

By Richard Florida

Housing prices continue to reflect the geographic reordering of the Great Reset. The newly released Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows a very uneven housing market, with significant recovery in some places and continued decline in others. While the National Index is up 2 percent over the first quarter a year earlier, it is down 3.2 percent from the end of 2009. The map below, created by Zara Matheson of the MPI, shows the year-over-year change in home prices for the 20 metro areas covered by the Index.


San Francisco, one of the nation's priciest markets, posted the largest gain -- 16.2 percent over the past year. San Diego (10.8 percent), Cleveland (6.7 percent), Minneapolis (6.5 percent), L.A. (6 percent), and D.C. (5.6 percent) also posted significant gains.

Las Vegas continued to see significant deterioration in its housing prices, posting a decline of 12.6 percent since last year; while housing prices which have already fallen back to 1990s levels in Detroit fell by an additional 4.6 percent.

This suggests that the housing seesaw pattern I discussed here last month continues.

Housing prices across the United States have fallen considerably since the bubble burst, but the pattern has been far from uniform. Housing prices have held up better in wealthier and more productive regions, with higher concentrations of knowledge, professional and creative work, and high-tech industry as well as higher levels of amenity (measured as working artists and cultural creatives) and openness (measured as greater percentages of immigrants). Housing prices have fallen further in locations with lower incomes and wages to begin with, with blue-collar manufacturing economies, lower levels of skill, and lower levels of amenity and openness. Expect that pattern to continue.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/05/housing-prices-and-the-great-reset/57287/