Top 20 Markets to be in

Top 20 Markets to be in

Upstate New York, Southwest Florida, California Bay Area Markets Leading Recovery
Northern Maryland, Southeast Pennsylvania, Downstate Illinois Markets Lagging

IRVINE, Calif. – Aug. 19, 2013 — RealtyTrac® (, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its first-ever Housing Market Recovery Index (Housing MRI), which shows metro area markets in upstate New York, southwest Florida and the Bay Area of Northern California are leading the housing recovery while markets in northern Maryland, southeast Pennsylvania and downstate Illinois are lagging the furthest behind in the recovery.

“The U.S. housing market has clearly shifted to recovery mode over the past 18 months, with home prices consistently rising and foreclosures falling closer to pre-housing bubble levels,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Still symptoms of the distress that plagued the housing market over the past seven years continue to linger, particularly in the form of a high percentage of underwater borrowers and distressed sales. This lingering distress is creating an uneven pace of recovery across different local markets.”

The index was calculated based on seven different factors relating to the health of the real estate market: unemployment rate, underwater loans percentage, foreclosure activity percent change from peak, distressed sales percent of total sales, institutional investors share of total sales, cash purchases share of total sales, and median home price percent change from bottom. Those seven factors were indexed for each market with national averages as a baseline, and all seven indexes were averaged to calculate a total recovery index. RealtyTrac ranked 100 major U.S. metros based on this total recovery index, but data is available for more than 900 metro areas nationwide.

“Median home prices have bottomed and are now rising in all 100 ranked markets,” Blomquist noted. “Likewise, foreclosure activity is past its peak in all 100 ranked markets — although foreclosure numbers have been rebounding recently in some areas where a more lengthy judicial process created a backlog of pent-up foreclosure activity.”

Top 20 markets leading the real estate recovery

Rochester, N.Y., topped the list of markets with the strongest signs of recovery thanks to below-average unemployment, underwater and distressed sales percentages, combined with above-average drops in foreclosure activity and increases in home prices.

Similarly strong numbers in another upstate New York metro, Albany, helped that market post the third highest recovery index, slightly behind the southwest Florida market of Cape Coral-Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit markets in the last seven years. Recovery in the Cape-Coral-Fort Myers market is being driven by strong home price increases, which are being fueled by a high percentage of cash and institutional investor purchases, along with sharp decreases in foreclosure activity. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers ranked second on the list despite an above-average percentage of underwater homeowners and distressed sales.

Two markets in the Bay Area of Northern California ranked among the top 5 markets leading the recovery: San Jose at No. 4 and San Francisco at No. 5. Both these markets outperformed the nation for unemployment rate, underwater percentage, foreclosure activity decrease since peak, and median price increase from the bottom of the market. Institutional investor and cash purchases — both considered a positive indicator for the recovery index — were below the national average in both Bay Area metros, and this is likely because the relatively high median prices in these markets create a barrier for institutional investors and other cash buyers — not to mention buyers using financing to purchase.

Along with New York and California, other states with two metros ranking among the top 20 markets leading the recovery were Colorado, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Other states with metros in the top 20 were Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Illinois.realtytrak


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