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Best & Worst Cities for Recession Recovery



Downtown Austin

Who Lands Where? has speculated ten cities poised for recovery and names the ten cities that will struggle the longest. What is interesting to note is the clusters of recoverable areas and the clusters of areas that may continue to struggle. Texas makes up 40% of the Top 10 while California makes up 50% of the Bottom 10.

Ten Best Cities Best Poised for Recovery

Other than Seattle and D.C./Arlington/Alexandria, all of the Top 10 is made up of southern/southwestern states. It is notable that examining Texas as the driving force for a recovery, the economy is diverse and there was never a real estate bubble.

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Fayetteville, AR
  3. Boulder, CO
  4. Huntsville, AL
  5. San Antonio, TX
  6. Mobile, AL
  7. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  8. Washington D.C./Arlington/Alexandria
  9. McAllen, TX
  10. Seattle, WA

Ten Cities Whose Road to Recovery May be Long

Forbes notes that many cities on the list below had economies focused on real estate and when the bubble popped, so did the local economies. Other cities are hurt by unemployment and a shift of commerce out of the city. Either way, these ten cities are projected to have the longest road to recovery:

  1. Flint, MI
  2. Fresno, CA
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Modesto, CA
  5. Salinas, CA
  6. Bakersfield, CA
  7. New York/ N. Jersey/ Long Island
  8. Stockton, CA
  9. Youngstown, OH
  10. Los Angeles/ Long Beach, CA

Is your city on either list? Why do you think that is and what do you think the road ahead holds for you?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Jason Sandquist

    June 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I would have put Minneapolis at the top of the list if I wrote the article 😉

  2. Linsey

    June 16, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I suspect that OC will be comparable to LA numbers. Not surprisingly, we will likely take awhile to recover. We had rapid and sizable appreciation. The economy can improve, the housing market can improve, but we have years to come with many homeowners that will be forced to sell in negative equity circumstances. The pricing freefall has happened, but recovering lost equity, appreciation, housing growth again – it’s gonna be a while.

  3. Ben Roberts | EXIT Real Estate 540

    June 16, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Go Northwest Arkansas! (That’s Fayetteville for the geographically challenged)
    I like your observation about there never being a real estate bubble in Texas or most of the areas listed in the top ten as far as I know. I think the better term for it would be ‘price swell’ for Northwest Arkansas. I keep a detailed monthly market report if anyone is interested in what prices actually did in our area.

    Now the question is, “How can we get some of those poor cities out of the bottom 10?”

  4. Louise Scoggins

    June 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I live in Atlanta which thankfully did not make the long road list. We also did not see massive appreciations in Real Estate values, but definitely experienced a “swell” as Ben put it. While it’s still a buyer’s market here — we are overloaded with foreclosures and new construction — values in Metro Atlanta are only down around 10%, which fairs well in comparison to other parts of the country.

    Thanks for posting, this was an interesting read!

  5. Brad Officer

    June 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Florida cities are always making these list. Glad to see we didn’t make the bottom list this time!

  6. Ben Goheen

    June 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I think Jason means that Minneapolis would be on the long road to recovery, but more so in specific areas. A home I appraised last month saw a 75% decline in value from 4 years ago, which is not uncommon for properties in that area. Some folks have a long road ahead of them.

  7. Cal Carter

    June 17, 2009 at 12:56 am

    We are happy to have our office situated in Fairhope, right across the bay from Mobile.

  8. Ruthmarie Hicks

    June 17, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Hi Lanni,

    Thanks for the article and the link. I’m a bit curious as to whether the housing affordability index for NY included cooperatives – which is the most common entry into the housing market for those living NYC and Westchester. Since they are not considered to be “real property” I rather doubt it. But the omission could skew the affordability index way off the map. In the article it claims that only 14% of the housing stock in the White Plains, Wayne, NYC area is affordable. I would be very surprised if that number reflected this alternative form of housing which is very unique to the area in that it dominates the entry level market.

    Having said that, NY has not hit bottom, however, the steep slide has stopped and prices are stabilizing.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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