We've seen some vast improvements in pretty much every real estate market in the country over the past few months, but there's still a lot of ground to make up if prices are going to return to their pre-recession levels.
Bearing that in mind, real estate watchers are keen to see which markets will display the strongest growth over the next few years, something that the experts at AOL Real Estate are also interested in. Recently, they ranked US cities based on the projected annualized change in home prices between now and 2017 to come up with a list of the best housing markets in the next five years. Many of the best-ranked cities have suffered huge price drops since the recession, so they're expected to go hell for leather in the next five years as they try to make up for lost values.
By far and away the biggest expected improvement will take place in the sleepy town of Medford, Oregon, where prices have fallen by 39.2% since their 2006 peak. AOL's experts are predicting an annualized growth rate of a whopping 9.7%, based on hopes of an improvement in the town's depressing job market, where unemployment currently hovers at 10%.
Santa Fe hasn't had such a bad time of things in comparison to other parts of the country, with prices dropping by a 'mere' 21.1% since their peak in Q4 of 2007. Even so, the experts are predicting a big upturn in fortunes for the city, which currently enjoys an unemployment rate that's 5% below the national average. The city's expected annualized growth rate is set to reach 9.1% throughout the next five years.
Like most parts of Florida, the Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach has been through a great deal of pain in recent years, with home prices sliding by a spectacular 41.9% from their 2006 peak. At present, the median price for a single-family home stands at just $143,000, yet it does appear that hope is on the horizon. Florida has been buoyed recently by an influx of foreign buyers, and as the backlog of foreclosures clear up we can finally expect things to pick up. According to AOL Real Estate, the city will see an annualized growth rate of 9.1% over the next five years.
Home prices in Sebastian and Vero Beach have suffered even more damage over the last eight years, falling by a whopping 50.5% from their peak in 2005. With median home prices of just $139,000 and an unemployment rate of 9.9%, this is a market that's absolutely hit rock bottom, with only way left to go - and that's upwards. AOL expects Sebastian-Vero Beach to hit an annualized growth rate of 8.9%, making it one of the hottest markets to watch.
The nation's other big foreclosure hot-spot also gets a mention in the top five, suggesting that those who took the opportunity to invest in Nevada's misfortune can expect a tidy profit in the next few years. Carson City homes have lost 51% of their value since 2006, while unemployment has sky-rocketed to 10.2% - a situation so bad that it can't possibly continue for much longer. Experts predict the city to see annualized growth of around 8.5% between now and 2017.