Tags: Housing | rebound | confined | upscale

Housing 'Rebound' Centers on Upscale Areas

By    |   Wednesday, 20 June 2012 02:07 PM

While some recent data point to a nascent recovery in the beleaguered housing market, a new report indicates that it’s mostly well-to-do areas that are improving.

Research firm Zillow Inc. looked at price changes in dozens of metropolitan areas in April compared with January in a study for The Wall Street Journal. Not surprisingly, it found strong demand for homes in nice locations with strong public schools and transportation grids.

But in less desirable areas, the housing market remains largely moribund.

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That takes a little gloss off recent figures such as the 3.2 percent increase in single-family housing starts during May.

Almost 94 percent of Phoenix zip codes and 90 percent of Denver zip codes experienced home-price increases in the three months through April, according to Zillow.

Those are two prosperous cities. But in less wealthy Albany, N.Y., only 6 percent of zip codes enjoyed rising home prices.

"You can actually see the seeds of the recovery starting to spread at the zip code level," Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, tells The Journal. But clearly it’s an uneven spread.

Still, some experts remain optimistic about the overall picture, with March home prices falling at the slowest rate in more than a year.

“We’ve turned the corner,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James, tells Bloomberg.

“This was always going to be a very gradual process. No one expected a real sharp housing recovery.”

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 02:07 PM
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