Doom and gloom continues to be the news surrounding the real estate market, and many places still continue to see steep declines in property values. Even so, some areas have been hit worse than others, and some areas have actually seen increases in value over the past few years. For people who are trying to sell in these areas, they are faced with a harsh reality that the only way to unload the house might be to take a 20-50% loss. This is especially true for people who purchased just a few years ago.
This is actually where we bought in. We bought our house at the end of 2005, which in terms of this real estate bubble, was almost at the very top. The good news is that we’re not trying to sell, but I can only imagine what it would be like for others who are put in a situation where this might be an only option due to a life event.
But what is more surprising is that we seem to be in one of the only areas in the entire state that have real estate values holding up. Looking at the homes for sale in our area, we’re not seeing any steep cuts in price as long as they are priced fairly. But what I found interesting was this map:
To put this in perspective, we’re in the very far southwest corner of Michigan, which has been one of the hardest hit states in recent years due to the decline in the auto industry. But, we seem to be in one of the few bright spots in the whole state as far as real estate is concerned. It still isn’t great, with an annual average increase of 1.75-4.17% in 2007, but I’d be content with almost keeping pace with inflation.
So, what have you seen in your neighborhood? Are prices falling through the floor, hanging in there, or increasing? I think it would be interesting to see what others are experiencing across the country.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.