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10 cities experiencing the worst declines in America

Florida hit hard

miami housing crisisIn analyzing the top 40 metros in America, has created their “Ten U.S. Cities In Free Fall” list, outlining areas that have been struggling and have gotten worse.

In the list of ten cities experiencing the worst declines, Florida accounts for 40% while California accounts for 30%, showing continued concentration on the coasts.

What most of these cities have in common is astronomical unemployment rates, declining building permit application numbers and slumping median home values.

Here are the unfortunate ten:

  1. Miami, FL (building permits down 77%)
  2. Tampa, FL (median home price down 32%)
  3. Riverside, CA (unemployment up 178%)
  4. Jacksonville, FL (median home price down 23%)
  5. Phoenix, AZ (building permits down 83%)
  6. (tied with #7 & #8) Los Angeles, CA (new jobs added down 8.5%)
  7. Orlando, FL (unemployment up 254%)
  8. Sacramento, CA (building permits down 75%)
  9. Las Vegas, NV (median home price down 50%)
  10. Providence, RI (unemployment up 122.95%)

How these cities were analyzed

Recently, Forbes has come under fire by AgentGenius readers who can point to statistics in their market that contradict lists and stats put out by the Forbes staff. Below are all of the factors that they analyzed to create the list of cities in decline:

“To find the country’s cities in free fall, we rated its 40 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) on six metrics. We ranked each MSA on the percent its median home price has fallen since its individual peak, using data provided by Local Market Monitor, a housing market data tracker. To get an estimate for the number of new homes being built, we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which tracks how many building permits are issued. Roughly 98% of these permits become new home starts. We looked at the percent change in new building permits between February 2007 and February 2010.

We also wanted to know how many people were moving in and out of these metros, since a growing population buoys a local economy. We used the Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates to rank each metro on its net population change between July 2006 and July 2009. To judge each city’s productivity we also ranked each metro on its per capita gross domestic product in 2008, the most recent year available, using data from Moody’s ( MCO – news – people ) Finally, we ranked the metros on the percent change in unemployment between January 2007 and January 2010 and the number of jobs they added between February 2007 and February 2010, with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We averaged these rankings to arrive at a final score.”

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Jarrod

    April 17, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I figured Las Vegas would have been higher up on that list. Notice there are no Texas cities on that list. We have stayed fairly strong down here. Energy has kept our markets a little more stable for the most part. I’m thinking most of the markets on that list are either at the bottom of the curve or are already on the swing back up.

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