Real Estate May Not Rebound Until 2025


If you own a home in Florida, Arizona or California (along with a few other economically-troubled states), you’ll need to wait 15 years before your home value will return to pre-recession levels. Says who? It’s the highly-regarded Fiserv Case-Schiller Index, which also says the drop in U.S. home values isn’t over yet.

That’s the data revealed in the last two Fiserv Case-Schiller Indices, from April and June 2010. The quarterly survey covers 375 U.S. markets.

"Nationally, Fiserv Case-Schiller data points to a further 7% decline in home prices through the end of this year, with a prolonged recovery beginning early in 2011. In many markets, the emphasis is on the word 'prolonged,'" said Fiserv chief economist David Stiff.

The April data cites an “unprecedented” environment for U.S. home prices, particularly those homes in financially-slammed states along America’s southern border. Stiff says, “It will take these markets 15 or more years before home prices climb back to their peaks." Other struggling states, like Michigan, Ohio and Nevada, can expect home prices to rebound more quickly — about five to 10 years from now, Fiserv Case-Schiller reports.

There is some good news from the June Fiserv Case-Schiller report. In it, the index shows that there is “broad evidence” that U.S. housing markets are stabilizing.

That report suggests that in the fourth quarter of 2009, signs were prevalent that U.S. home prices were rising in 155 out of 384 metro areas, even in selected spots in hard-hit states like California. But that good news was tempered somewhat by index numbers that showed the average U.S. home price slid 2.5% from the same period in 2008.

The index cites several key factors for the sluggish performance, most notably the cloudy unemployment landscape and the pervasiveness of foreclosed and distressed real estate properties in the U.S., especially in key trouble-spots like Florida, California and Arizona.

Explains Stiff, "Optimism that a sustainable economic recovery is underway is driving increases in home prices across many U.S. metro areas. More and more, consumers have confidence that buying a home doesn't mean catching a falling knife. Very large price declines have also made housing much more affordable, drawing in both first-time homebuyers and investors."

Perhaps indicative of the stronger job numbers in the public sector, Washington, D.C., enjoyed one of the highest rates of growth across the U.S., according to the Fiserv index. The region saw home prices rise 5.2% from late 2008 to late 2009. And since the local real estate market hit bottom in early 2009, the Washington area has since seen a 9% rise in home prices, Fiserv reports.

For a more detailed look, here is how the major U.S. real estate markets fared over the recorded period.

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