We hear so much about the failing economy, rising
unemployment and the failure of our elected representatives to fix our
problems. And then we hear that home values continue to drop nationwide. But
there are times when statisticians seem to paint gloomy pictures with too
broad a brush. The truth is that in some markets, markets that may actually
be a surprise to many, home values are on the rise.
Some might say that markets have fallen so far for so
long that they’d have no other way to go but up. But hey, why split hairs?
At this point we’ll take what we can get. Let’s take a look at a few that
are moving on up.
Massachusetts is an excellent example of a market
recovering from historic lows. And it would seem that by contrast, the rise
in home values is just as dramatic as the decline was, at least in
Lexington. Prices in this history-rich town have risen more than 14 percent
in the last year.
It’s not surprising that Lexington has led the region
in rebounding home values. One of the reasons is that the town is home to
one of the finest school systems in New England. On yet another high note,
the demand for lower priced real estate is growing rapidly in this historic
town as well.
University, Missouri is a suburb of St. Louis with an
unusual distinction. This town has two causes for bragging rights. It seems
that home prices have not only risen by 26 percent over the last year, but
that inventory has also increased along with those rising prices. The median
home price in the region is just above the $190,000 mark and sellers are
asking and getting more each month, driving home values northward.
There’s a famous novel that starts with the line, it
was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Rather than discussing the
novel, A Tale of Two Cities, I’m referencing the phrase as an apt
description for real estate values in California. It’s true that much of the
state is still in the pits with regard to falling home values but there are
bright spots too.
Sunnyvale of Silicon Valley along with Poway and the
prosperous city of Arcadia, just northwest of greater Los Angeles are all
experiencing growth spurts. These three cities combined have had real estate
prices jump more than 25 percent since January of 2009 and they’re still
More Bright Spots
But rising home values are not just confined to these
three states. Pennsylvania has seen some promising activity as well. Home
sales are up in Pittsburg where prices are affordable for folks earning the
medium family income of $62, 500. And there’s more good news in Pittsburg.
Foreclosures are down significantly. Home values are projected to rise by
nearly three percent in 2010. That may seem like a modest gain but in light
of home prices dropping almost everywhere else in the U.S., Pittsburg
appears to be thriving by comparison.
And the good news keeps on coming. Columbus, Ohio has a
healthy employment environment and consequently the surrounding suburbs are
experiencing a modest rise in home values. Louisville, Kentucky is another
area with an extremely low foreclosure rate and is enjoying its own mini
boom. With costal vacation destinations nearby locals are hopeful the growth
The following is a short list of locations that are
bucking the national trend of declining home values:
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Saint Louis, Missouri
- Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
- Lexington, Massachusetts
- Arcadia, California
With these locations enjoying rich to moderate
appreciation in home values, lets hope that the rest of the country soon