The average value of a home declined by 25% to 30% from the period from the third quarter of 2005 to the third quarter of last year. The end of 2005 and beginning of 2006 were the peak of the housing boom. S&P argued that home prices could fall another 7% to 10% this year. Many markets have already suffered a drop in housing values of more than half.
It is hard to believe that any market could escape the devastation that has accompanied the collapse of home prices. But there are several relatively large regions where home prices have actually risen. 24/7 Wall St used the Fiserv Case-Shiller Index for all 384 metro areas in the United States, known officially as MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas). We examined the regions where housing prices improved and took the 10 MSAs with the greatest increases in home values. Additionally, markets that did not maintain their highest prices were also excluded. 24/7 also reviewed foreclosure data in each area. This data was provided by RealtyTrac. The assumption was, and it proved to be true, that regions with strong home prices also had low foreclosures rates. Finally, we reviewed the government's unemployment data on each MSA to look for correlations between joblessness and home prices.