Pittsburgh Real Estate Remains at the Head of the Pack!

Harrisburg/Carlisle and Pittsburgh are projected to be 2 of the Top 5 Housing Markets in 2012

Santa Ana, Calif. – October 7, 2011 – Veros Real Estate Solutions (Veros), an industry leader in enterprise risk management and collateral valuation services, has announced the real estate market forecast for the 12-month period ending September 1, 2012.

VeroFORECAST, Veros’ real estate market forecast product, shows that once again Bismarck, North Dakota leads the housing market for strongest home appreciation, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii and Fargo, North Dakota. These areas of North Dakota are showing strength due to a notably low unemployment rate at 3.5 percent, a growing economy and population fueled by an oil boom and strong demand for agriculture. Honolulu attributes its strength to an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, its lowest housing supply in the past five years and a high rate of affordability.
Nationally, the Veros Future HPI continues to show stability in its quarterly results, holding fairly constant at -1.7% from the 2Q 2011 projection (-1.5%) indicating slight depreciation over the next 12 months. With no significant drags on HPI and few markets showing strong appreciation, a very slow recovery for housing prices is anticipated.
Unemployment and housing supply continue to be key discriminators between the top and bottom 10 housing markets.
Projected Five Strongest Markets*
    Bismarck, ND 5.6%
    Honolulu, HI 2.9%
    Fargo, ND-MN 2.0%
    Harrisburg/Carlisle, PA 1.9%
    Pittsburgh, PA 1.9%
Projected Five Weakest Markets*
    Bakersfield, CA -5.5%
    Reno/Sparks, NV -5.1%
    Deltona/Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach, FL -5.1%
    Las Vegas/Paradise, NV -5.0%
    Fresno, CA  -4.8%
Despite recent fluctuations in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq, Veros’ 12-month forecast indicates that there will not be a return to double-digit declines of the recent past in the housing market. VeroFORECAST indicates a maximum of five percent appreciation for growing housing markets and five to six percent decline for weaker markets.
The most strength in housing markets can be found in the Great Plains, including North and South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Louisiana and Iowa. Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. and Boston remain as the strongest big city markets, with visible strength being seen returning to the Denver housing market. Additionally, regions in Alaska and Hawaii continue to maintain a strong housing market due to affordability, lower interest rates and unemployment, as well as an increasing population.
The nation’s weakest housing markets are being found in Nevada, inland areas of California, Washington and Oregon, accounting for seven out of the bottom 10 housing markets. While some markets in Florida and Arizona are still pointedly weak, they have experienced improvements in markets such as Miami, Tampa and Fort Myers.
According to Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling for Veros, some of the hardest hit markets during the downturn are continuing to show some surprising strengths, although they are not out of negative territory. For example, Miami is forecast to see a slight one to two percent depreciation versus the 10 percent depreciation of the recent past. “Overall, the recovery in the housing market is limited to just a few markets and is taking a long time to occur. The encouraging news is that many markets are no longer expected to be rapidly declining,” he said.
*Markets demonstrated are for residential real estate in major metro areas (typically greater than 250,000 residents) among single-family homes in the median price tier.

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