Bright Spots in Dark Markets

While everyone and their brother universally acknowledges that the economy fell off a cliff and it was the housing market that led the plunge (after all, you’d have to live under a rock to avoid the 12,842 negatve daily media reports) few accept, acknowledge or are even aware of the bright spots in the housing market. Yes, that’s right, I said bright spots and housing market in the same sentence, where it seems all is not doom and gloom.

Yes, yes, I know, the Chicken Little Syndrome is in full force and effect. And, to credit the naysayers, as I seldom do, in most places, the sky is falling. As alluded to in the title, there are bright spots in dark markets. There are precious few, but there are bright spots, and it seems they are heavily weighted and concentrated in one of the fifty. The Lone Star State is very quietly continuing its march towards prosperity.

In my next post, I’ll provide evidence of housing price increases and potential shortages in inventory. For now, I’ll be gentle and just start with this report from PMI on the safest real estate markets in the US. Please note the geographic concentration in this report PMI Fall 2008 Risk Index Indicates Rising Foreclosures and Unemployment
Intensifying Risk of Future Home Price Declines.
According to PMI, the highs and lows of the housing market map out pretty easily.

“The highest risk of future price declines remains in Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL (99.5 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (99.5 percent), Orlando-Kissimmee, FL (99.4 percent), Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (99.3 percent), Tampa-St. Petersberg-Clearwater, FL (99 percent). The areas with the lowest risk of price declines — less than one percent — are in Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX and Pittsburgh, PA.” The coasts, aren’t holding up. It’s good to be in Flyover Country.

Scott Schaefer