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January 29, 2007

Richard Florida

Real estate is spiky

« Davos vs Burning Man | Main | The City that Never Walks »

Heat_map Here's Trulia's national real estate heat map on the left.  You can drill downMillion_dollar_homes for more detailed information on states,  counties, cities, neighborhoods, and zip codes by clicking on the live map over at their site.

On the right is competitor  Zillow's list of million dollar homes by city. There, you can use Zestimates to create all sorts of interesting data on real estate trends.

And over at the ominously titled Housing Doom, there's a list  (below) of foreclosed properties by state, based on  data on Fannie Mae-owned properties.  It's not the list they imagined, dominated as it is by heartland states like Ohio and Michigan, with bubble markets conspicuously absent, at least for the time being.  Housing_bubble Click on any of these graphics to enlarge.


Your thoughts on what might be behind these trends and patterns?


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Without city-specific data this is just an educated guess....but this list looks more like areas where housing prices have begun to slide, or at least have stopped appreciating.

With home owners allowed to borrow 100% or even 105% of the value of their home, it does not take much economic downturn to force many owners to foreclose or declare bankruptcy. They can't sell their house and pay off the mortgage because they'll still owe perhaps $50K even on a modest home by the time realtors fees, banking fees, etc. are paid in addition to taking a hit on the loss in house value.

For some in this predicament, foreclosure may be their solution.

Because in many of the so-called bubble markets, the economy is still doing strong, and/or housing prices remain strong, it is reasonable that the foreclosure rate would be lower.


Wendy - I absolutely agree. It seems that there are now two very separate and distinct housing markets, perhaps three. The first is the super-star markets where the fundamentals are in good shape, talent is being attracted, and demand continues to rise in the face of appreciating values. The second are the resort-speculator markets, like South Florida, where we now see not just overbuilding but a lack of economic fundamentals. And the third are the markets that are crashing due to economic structural forces and demographic shifts. Another way of saying this is that real estate like other factors is now becoming increasingly spiky.

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