Headlines – Week of April 17, 2011

April 22, 2011

 Major U.S. cities show population declines

According to a recent article in USA Today, in the past ten years most of America’s largest cities either grew more slowly or lost people at a faster rate.

The article provides information from an analysis of 2010 Census data by University of Nevada Las Vegas urban studies professor Robert Lang.  Lang’s analysis believes a decline in immigration and the recession contributed to slower growth in cities over the past decade.

The data shows that some cities saw blacks relocating to the suburbs, even as cities attracted young professionals and empty-nesters.  Washington, D.C., for instance, saw its population grow 5.2 percent despite a loss of black residents.

Lang’s research shows:

  • Philadelphia was the city in the study that reversed a decline in the 1990s. Cities that lost in the 2000s included Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit.
  • Phoenix dropped from 34.3% growth one decade to 9.4% the next; Dallas from 18% to 0.8%; Los Angeles from 6% to 2.6%. The nation as a whole grew 9.7%, down from 13.2% in the 1990s.
  • Urban centers of the 50 largest metropolitan areas collectively gained 3.7% in the 1990s but declined 1.3% from 2000 to 2010.
  • Four of 35 cities that study had identified as rebounding in the 1990s had their worst decade since their postwar declines began: Birmingham, Ala.; Detroit, Toledo, Ohio; and New Orleans (lost more than 140,000 people, many after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city).

The following table shows ffourteen of the 15 most populous cities that grew more slowly in the past decade than in the 1990s or lost population (sorted by growth rate in the 2000s): 


City 2010 Population 1990s Growth Rate 2000s Growth Rate
Detroit      713,777    -7.5% -25.0%
Chicago   2,695,598     4.0%    -6.9%
Philadelphia  1,526,006    -4.3%     0.6%
Dallas   1,197,816   18.0%     0.8%
New York  8,175,133     9.4%     2.1%
Los angeles  3,792,621     6.0%     2.6%
San Francisco      805,235     7.3%     3.7%
Indianapolis      829,718     8.3%     4.8%
San Jose      945,942   14.4%     5.7%
San Diego  1,307,402   10.2%     6.9%
Houston  2,099,451   19.8%     7.5%
Phoenix  1,445,632   34.3%     9.4%
Cholumbus, OH      787,033   12.4%   10.6%
Jacksonville      821,784   15.8%   11.7%
San Antonio  1,327,407   22.3%   16.0%


 Full Article

Six Cities with Steep Housing Discounts

CNNMoney.com recently offered a list of a few cities that have had the steepest price drops over the past six months.

Here are six cities that are offering some of the biggest discounts on housing:

1. Atlanta
Rising foreclosures have hit the Atlanta housing market hard: Foreclosure filings in 2010 rose 22 percent after jumping more than 40 percent the year before. The last six months of 2010 housing prices dropped about 6 percent. Homes in Atlanta typically average 65 days on the market before getting a price cut, according to Trulia.

2. Seattle
Seattle’s housing market at first seemed immune to the housing slump compared to other West coast cities. But after hitting a price high in May 2007, prices started headed down and have dropped 5.2 percent in the past six months alone. Seattle housing prices are 28 percent off their peak. Homes in Seattle spend an average of 54 days on the market before getting the first price cut, which is about 6 percent, according to Trulia. With hiring picking up at some of Seattle’s major companies, like Boeing and Amazon, analysts are forecasting a rebound in the Seattle real estate market.

3. Minneapolis
Despite only seeing moderate gains during the housing boom, Minneapolis has still felt the housing slump like other markets. Since peaking in April 2006, housing values in Minneapolis have dropped 34 percent–8 percent of that loss alone has come over the last six months. Homes in Minneapolis spend an average of 45 days on the market before getting the first price cut, which averages about 9 percent, according to Trulia.

4. Detroit
With a population drop in the last decade of 25 percent, Detroit’s economic and housing woes are nothing new. However, the auto industry has stabilized, which is offering a hopeful sign to the city’s housing market.


5. Phoenix

Arizona’s largest city went through one of the most volatile housing market cycles in the country as prices there more than doubled between January 2000 and the top of the market in May 2006.  Since then, prices have dropped back to their early-2000 levels, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index.

Many expect to see more bargain prices in the area as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sell off their repossessions in bulk to investors.

6. Tampa

Florida has been in the central ring for the whole housing circus. Prices here are off a total of 46% from peak. According to Trulia, sellers have not been particularly quick to drop their listing prices, lasting an average of 69 days before the first reduction.

Full Article  

Florida’s Existing Home and Condo Sales Up

According to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors, Florida’s existing home and existing condo sales rose in March.   Existing home sales increased 12 percent last month with a total of 18,522 homes sold statewide compared to 16,540 homes sold in March 2010. Statewide sales of existing condos last month rose 24 percent compared to the year-ago sales figure.

Seventeen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing home and existing condo sales in March; 17 MSAs also had higher condo sales. This is the fourth consecutive month of higher year-over-year existing home and existing condo sales statewide.

Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $126,300; a year ago, it was $136,000 for a 7 percent decrease. Sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to distort the median price downward because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in February 2011 was $157,000, down 4.2 percent from a year ago.  In California, the statewide median resales price was $271,320 in February; in Massachusetts, it was $270,000; in New York, it was $245,000; and in Maryland, it was $208,258.

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 9,703 units sold statewide last month compared to 7,830 units in March 2010 for an increase of 24 percent. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $84,300; in March 2010 it was $94,800 for an 11 percent decrease. The national median existing condo sales price was $150,400 in February 2011.

Sarasota Real Estate Rising Like the Tide

According to an article written by Sandy Winslow, the city of Sarasota, Florida is one of the most desirable pieces of any land in the United States due to its location on the Gulf of Mexico.

Her opinion is that coastal property has the greatest potential because of the relative scarcity versus other forms of real estate plus the overwhelming desire for people to live close to water.

The location of Sarasota is particularly appealing because the gulf side of Florida enjoys more temperate weather and the waters are generally warmer than the Atlantic side. The beaches also are considered more pleasant than those on the ocean side. This is due to the more gentle surf and whiter, finer sand that are found on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota’s shoreline, as well as other areas on the West and East coast of Florida is protected by a line of barrier islands.  These “keys” make up the western side of Sarasota Bay. The barrier islands adds to the protection and stability of the coastline allowing for greater use of the waterways.

Sarasota real estate is enjoying resurgence as the country emerges from its latest economic downturn.

The author believes the rebound in Sarasota (and Florida in general) will be quicker than most other areas of the country as things begin to turn around. Shifting demographics will also play a large role in the popularity of the area as more Americans are reaching retirement age and have the resources to invest in real estate for their primary or secondary living options.

Posted by Scott R. Lodde


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