The housing recovery has been uneven, just as its collapse five years ago had been. In some areas, home prices dropped much further and faster than in others, while for-sale homes languished on the market for months.
Now that we've been seeing signs of improvement nationally, one state stands out -- think orange groves, technology start-ups and movie stars.
A report from Realtor.com suggests that nationally, demand for homes is weakening. List prices have declined during the third quarter, with the average October list price coming in exactly where it was a year ago: $189,900.
However, inventory of homes for sale is down 17 percent from October a year ago and is at its lowest point since 2007. It's down more than 40 percent from the September 2007 peak. The report notes that although the drop in inventory is a positive sign for housing, the stagnant median list price may signify a stalled recovery in home prices.
The local markets tell a different story -- starring the state of California -- and are the most interesting part of the report. Eight of the 10 local markets with the largest year-over-year reduction in housing inventory are in California, including the top five. The other two are in Washington and Georgia. The 10 markets with the greatest year-over-year increase in home prices include six in California, with Arizona, Georgia, Washington and Nevada rounding out the remainder of the top 10. California markets also are among those with homes spending the least amount of time for sale.
10 metro areas with the greatest year-over-year list-price increases
|October 2012 vs. October 2011|
|Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.||27.03%|
|San Jose, Calif.||20.49%|
The housing recovery is also strengthening in other states hard-hit by the collapse: Florida, Nevada and Arizona. Meanwhile, Midwestern markets, which were more stable during the housing crisis, are showing signs of weakness when measured by number of homes for sale and listing prices.
How are home sales and prices in your state?
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