New data show uneven pace of housing recovery

Numbers crunched by RealtyTrac find that Rochester, N.Y., is seeing twice the national average rate of recovery, while Baltimore is bringing up the rear of the list.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Aug 19, 2013 1:23PM

(© Gregor Schuster/Corbis)When we talk about national statistics, we often caution that the housing market in your town may not be anything like the national average. The recovery is taking place at different times, at differing speeds, in different cities.


RealtyTrac has crunched data and come up with a score it is calling the Housing Market Recovery Index, based on seven factors, including the local unemployment rate, the percentage of underwater loans, change in foreclosure activity since the peak, distressed sales, cash purchases and median home-sale prices. Looking at those factors, RealtyTrac ranked 100 major U.S. cities – though it has data for more than 900.


At the top of the list, with a Housing MRI of 217 is Rochester, N.Y., with strong employment, a smaller percentages of underwater homes and distressed sales, a decrease in foreclosure activity and an increase in home prices. The national average created the baseline of 100.


At the bottom was Baltimore, where prices have risen and foreclosures have declined, but not as much as in other cities. Baltimore’s Housing MRI was 80.

"The U.S. housing market has clearly shifted to recovery mode over the past 18 months, with home prices consistently rising and foreclosures falling closer to pre-housing bubble levels," Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a news release.

"Still, symptoms of the distress that plagued the housing market over the past seven years continue to linger, particularly in the form of a high percentage of underwater borrowers and distressed sales. This lingering distress is creating an uneven pace of recovery across different local markets," he said. 

These are the 10 cities RealtyTrac ranked as leading the way in housing recovery, with their Housing MRIs:

  • Rochester, N.Y.: 217
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.: 168
  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.: 168
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.: 166
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.: 164
  • Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.: 163
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.: 158
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.: 157
  • Flint, Mich.: 153
  • Oklahoma City: 153

The 10 metros at the bottom of the list and their Housing MRI scores are:

  • Baltimore-Towson, Md.: 80
  • Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.-N.J.: 81
  • Rockford, Ill.: 82
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.: 83
  • Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va.: 85
  • Colorado Springs: 85
  • Fresno, Calif.: 88
  • Visalia-Porterville, Calif.: 89
  • Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.: 91
  • Salem, Ore.: 91


Aug 20, 2013 2:59AM
This survey is crap. I live in Albany NY and there are no jobs, Houses are being sold by scam realtors telling people they need to get in before its to late. BS, the housing market has another leg down just like the stock mkt ! When they lose their down payment principle of 20% then they will be crying. Realtors play both sides just like stock brokers. You have to sell your house now before its to late or you got to buy now before its to late. They drive it up and down making money off of suckers...
Aug 20, 2013 2:59AM

So the homes of  home owners whose  homes  are underwater, foreclosed, are in trouble or just overpriced are hidden. Sure prices have risen but they dropped 40% so a rise does not get you back where your were.

Looking to sell figure on having bargain basement offers. How about putting all of the bank owned and foreclosed homes back on the market. Then real people could invest in a home. Between the government and the realtors the average citizen still gets screwed by false statistics and hype.

Oh please come up with another government program to put people in homes they can't afford and have no idea how to maintain. Then we can watch the next crash.

Just keep believing that the housing market is better and it will be so.


Aug 20, 2013 2:54AM


Wasn't it Bush that gave the American Dream speech in

2002 and signed the ADDI act in 2003 ?

The Real victims are the ones that had no intention of not paying

their 30 year obligation and are stuck holding the bag because the Government

not only gave free advertising to Wall street bankers . They gave free money to people that should not have been buying a house .

Against my advice my wife ( Who is a die hard Conservative Republican from the south )

Bought a house during the peak mostly because she was worried about the economy and

didn't want to lose her money she had in stocks and didn't want to go in deep debt so she put a huge down payment which cost her dearly in taxes .

The house is worth less than half the original purchase price and it will never

reach the price it was at the peak .

When you see things in Black and White .

It not only makes you look foolish . It makes you look ignorant .

The American Dream used to be you saved money for a down payment and bought a house

when you could afford it . If you give something free you are less likely to take pride in ownership.

Much like going to Vegas and playing on house money .

Liberals my azz !!  If the rules for buying a house would have remained the same as they have always been this would never have happened .

Not only did Wall street bankers make most of the money . The government bailed them out after the fact . Talk about irresponsible handouts ?

Aug 20, 2013 2:43AM
I would have thought Michigan would have had more towns listed as they have been at the bottom for so long that there was no where but up to go.
When are the Liberals going to wake up and realize it doesn't do any good to subsidize the poor and/or lazy? Irresponsible handouts and doovers are starting to rile those paying the tariff. Margaret Thatcher was 100% correct when she said, " the trouble with socialism is, eventually you run out of other peoples money to spend."
Aug 20, 2013 1:59AM
Aug 20, 2013 1:31AM

let's see- my property value dropped $82 thousand , flush tax $38 ,new rain tax $51, and my bill was $400 more? in a really bad times we raise the costs more! there still looking to take more? 

Aug 20, 2013 12:28AM
O'IamAdumbAzz will redo the loan regs with welfare to pay for desperate home buyers and cheap loans - then subsidize his stupid plan by taxing responsible home buyers - leading to another housing crash on those cheap loans - liberal problems solved as we all beg the government for help.
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