The state of the U.S. housing market depends on where you look.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, there are two markets. In one, prices are falling from where they were a year ago. In the other, prices are still posting year-over-year gains.
Black Knight’s recent home-price index shows that home prices in the 12 major housing markets west of Texas, plus Austin, fell year-over-year in January. In the 37 biggest metro areas east of Colorado, except Austin, home prices rose year-over-year.
Analysts say this down-the-middle pattern is essentially dividing the U.S., which is pretty unusual.
On the one hand, there are the Western housing markets that have seen tech-related housing booms since the 1990s. But now, those markets are seeing home prices fall the fastest. San Jose and San Francisco home prices have dropped 10% since last January. Seattle has fallen 7.5% in that time.
On the other hand, Florida and other Southern markets are still attracting companies and adding jobs. Home prices in Orlando were up 9.3%. Miami prices rose 12%, the highest increase among the 50 biggest metro areas.
Plus, quite a few financial companies moved to Miami in 2021 and 2022, and reports say their employees are still arriving.
Several east coast real estate agents interviewed cite multiple offers on properties and packed open houses.
The metro areas with the largest price declines are usually former boomtowns like Phoenix and Austin, or areas that were already prohibitively expensive, like San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Francisco home prices rose 112% between January 2012 and January 2020. The median existing single-family home-sale price in San Francisco was $1.465 million in February. In L.A., mortgage payments on the average-priced home in January would require 63% of the median household income.
Boise, Idaho was another Pandemic boomtown. The median home-sale price in Ada County, Idaho, which includes Boise, was $492,115 in February. That’s a drop of 10.5% from a year earlier. Even so, the price is almost $130,000 above the national median price, making it unaffordable for many out-of-state buyers.
An analysis from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University identified Boise, Austin, and Ogden as the most overvalued housing markets in the US in January 2022. Eight of the top 10 most overvalued markets were in the West, Mountain West, or Texas.
Going into last year, nearly all the frothiest housing markets were West of the Mississippi River. In January 2022, an analysis from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University named Boise, Austin, and Ogden, Utah, as the most overvalued housing markets in the U.S.
At the beginning of last year, eight of the top 10 most overvalued markets that month were in the West, Mountain West or Texas.
This year, that changed a bit. Some Eastern markets, including Atlanta, Cape Coral, and Charlotte, have the most overvalued housing prices in January. Analysts say these markets may soon see negative annual price growth.
This year, all of the top 10 were all in the South and Midwest.