Las Vegas, Denver, Pittsburgh, And Boston Have Rebounded Differently Since The Recession

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On a national level, home values have reached previous peaks, but some markets fare better than others

May 25, 2017

Neighborhood overlooking Las Vegas. Photo: Nandaro/Wikimedia Commons

Home prices in Las Vegas have been shooting upward over the last five years, even rising 10 percent year-over-year in April. But, while the median home value in Vegas is a solid $220,700, there is still a long way to go to reach the May 2006 peak of $304,700.

The Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) was $197,100 in March, finally surpassing the bubble peak of $196,600 a decade ago. While things look good on a national level, individual markets are recovering differently.

Denver, for instance, wasn’t hit too hard by the recession, hardly suffering a dip in home values. Since March 2013, though, home values have skyrocketed, going from $235,900 to the current value of $366,000, a 54 percent increase. Denver’s home values have risen due to population growth and a lack of homes for sale.

Such rocket-like growth could indicate a local bubble starting to form in Denver and similar fast-growing markets, like the Bay Area. However, rapid growth alone does not indicate a bubble if prices are driven by solid economic fundamentals like strong job growth, wage gains, true demand and limited supply — which is the case in Denver.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has experienced steady home value growth since 2000, with no significant declines or increases. In April, Pittsburgh homes had a median value of $136,300.

Boston’s home values have best mirrored the overall housing bubble. Values peaked at $382,700 in 2005, dropped down to nearly $300,000 in 2012, and have risen up to $422,300 today.

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