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Old 05-09-2011, 08:51 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,899,934 times
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Here is the release:

First Quarter Home Value Declines Match Worst of Housing Recession; Bottom Unlikely to Appear Before 2012 - May 9, 2011

Home values are starting to fall again. But among the large metros tracked by Zillow, Pittsburgh has had the least decline from peak (and least decline in the last year, and least decline from the last quarter). The predictable result is that we have by far the lowest negative equity percentage (people who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth) at 6.8% (this is of SFHs with a mortgage). The next-lowest is Boston at 16.9%, and Zillow has the U.S. at 28.4%. The highest is Phoenix at 68.4% (yikes!).
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Close to Pittsburgh, but NOT Pittsburgh ('cause I don't pay CoP taxes)
253 posts, read 192,649 times
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Sometimes I feel like we're not even part of the same country (in a good way). That "Change from Peak" column is unreal.

I'm planning a weekend trip to Chicago with some old friends from high school and they were discussing how much we were willing to spend on place to stay. I had to qualify that my estimate was in "Kennywood Dollars" since I have a hard time remembering that everything costs 10-40% more once you leave the region...
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:29 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,277 posts, read 20,297,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDiFiore View Post
Sometimes I feel like we're not even part of the same country (in a good way). That "Change from Peak" column is unreal.

I'm planning a weekend trip to Chicago with some old friends from high school and they were discussing how much we were willing to spend on place to stay. I had to qualify that my estimate was in "Kennywood Dollars" since I have a hard time remembering that everything costs 10-40% more once you leave the region...
Yeah a few things at play makes Pittsburgh good in these regards. Firstly, Pittsburgh never had some real estate boom and prices are pretty flat in our area due to the very high school taxes and just a plodding along economy. Secondly, Pittsburgh'ers have been through tough times in the past and they tend to prepare pretty well and not overextend as much as the high flyers in other areas. Natives save for a rainy day so to speak.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Location: ɥbɹnqsʇʇıd
4,601 posts, read 6,016,926 times
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This country is a damn mess....
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:46 AM
 
4,684 posts, read 4,107,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Teen Carl View Post
This country is a damn mess....
That's why we all need to pull together and try harder to leave it.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:06 AM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,899,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDiFiore View Post
Sometimes I feel like we're not even part of the same country (in a good way). That "Change from Peak" column is unreal.
Some other parts of the country also largely dodged the housing bubble, but not many cities as large as Pittsburgh. It is really all because of the steel bust and resulting diaspora, which led to supply being easily capable of keeping up with demand, preventing any sort of speculative bubble from forming here.

The one cautionary note is that I think that era of Pittsburgh being in its own world among larger U.S. cities is coming to an end. Some parts of the Pittsburgh area have been experiencing unusual appreciation recently, and we appear to be hitting some supply constraints in terms of new development. Hopefully as the national financing markets normalize those supply constraints will be reduced, but I think we need to be thinking ahead about what sorts of policies and public investments we will need to meet development demand in the next 20-30 years, because it can take a while to get all the pieces in place.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:08 AM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,899,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Teen Carl View Post
This country is a damn mess....
Well, housing is certainly a mess. But other things are doing better.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
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I know that Boston and Pittsburgh are #1 and #2 nationally for "oldest average age of housing stock," maybe that's the most important variable in the stability of equity? I can't think of much else the two cities have in common...
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ossewa View Post
I know that Boston and Pittsburgh are #1 and #2 nationally for "oldest average age of housing stock," maybe that's the most important variable in the stability of equity? I can't think of much else the two cities have in common...
That's an interesting question, but I think it may be two different paths to get to the same point. The other large cities that did above average were NYC, LA, Philly, San Francisco, and San Diego. They didn't have the results for Dallas and they don't track Houston (not sure why not), but I would bet both of those cities did relatively well too.

The common denominator would be something like the difficulty of having a speculative housing bubble. In some places, that is because the local financial norms and the ability of supply to easily respond to demand make a speculative bubble difficult to start. This would describe Pittsburgh, and I think the Texas cities as well.

But another path to the same end is just having too little undeveloped land and too many constraints on new developments, plus enough income and wealth to make it unnecessary for local homeowners to go too far into debt. This would include places like Boston, NYC, and Philly, and SF, LA, and San Diego too.

Edit: By the way, note that some of those cities had pretty high drops from peak. Here is another interesting chart from Calculated Risk:

http://cr4re.com/charts/chart-images/CaseShillerCitiesMar2011.jpg (broken link)

I think it is interesting to ask why the coastal California cities have substantially less negative equity than Chicago, despite having a comparable drop in home values from peak. And again, I suspect it has something to do with things like local income/wealth and the ease of developing for speculative purposes.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,377 posts, read 108,467,810 times
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Funny, that Zillow article gives Denver's negative equity as 41%, while the chart shows a -10.4%. From personal experience (of living here; we haven't bought a house in 22 years), the second number is more accurate.
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