Housing Recovery Stranger than Expected

On the back of Capital Economics’ observation that the U.S. housing market’s recovery is not quite as strong as previously thought and Freddie Mac’s positive market outlook, the escalating opinion of experts everywhere is that some odd things are happening in local metro markets. While pointing fingers could be directed at the more obvious reasons like a stuttering economy, there are a few other factors that are creeping up on the horizon, like refinancing woes and government endorsement. Still, the news is positive, even if it’s causing a bit of havoc with the rules of supply and demand.

housing recovery

Confused about the housing recovery? So are we! © Dawn Hudson - Fotolia.com

We recently published an article about the strange happenings in the California real estate market that seem to follow in line with what we‘re seeing on a national scale. California includes a diverse set of markets due to its size, but the prevailing presence of investors in the state with cash made the inventory levels drop significantly across the board.

What about nationally? We took a look at three of the top ten metro areas in the nation:





2011 Inventory




Today’s Inventory




% of Change




2011 Median List Price




Today’s Median List Price




% of Change





According to the Illinois Association of Realtors, a possible reason for the decrease in Chicago inventory could be attributed to several settlements between states and five major banks related to foreclosure abuses. The backlog of foreclosed inventory should be moving more freely now, resulting in a decrease in available inventory. The Association also asserts that “while sellers may not be getting all of the money they want for a house, they are getting traffic and interest at levels that haven’t been seen in several years”. This supports the decrease in the median list price, and high demand in buyers.


Rental rates are rising in Dallas, which may drive residents to look toward homeownership rather than navigate the jungle of high-rises. Low mortgage rates will just perpetuate this in the coming months, but the median list price has risen 12% since last year.


High demand also plays a key role in the dwindling inventory in Miami. This doesn’t exactly mean that the market is a well-oiled machine though, as 49% of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed. Strangely, the average foreclosure is reported to still take around 800 days to complete, but the same forces that influenced Chicago’s inventory—mainly legal settlements with bank establishments—are likely the galvanizing factor in the movement of backlogged foreclosures.


Article written by Lauren Tyson of Movoto Real Estate, striving to make home-buying easy for everyone.


  1. Donna Robinson says:

    Yes the national averages don’t present a clear picture because housing markets are very much a phenomenon of local fundamentals. Some areas are doing better and some worse, largely because of what is happening locally.


  1. […] percent in February 2012 compared to a year ago, with shrinking supplies in all but two of the 146 major metro markets […]

  2. […] You can get our headlines via email as well, or follow us on Twitter.We’re seeing a lot of media reports questioning what is happening with the housing market. The data seems to be confusing, and often […]