Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mapping Home-Value Drops by Zip Code for the DC metroplitan area

This article from the Wall Street Journal is based on Zillow data for six major markets -- Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago (see maps).

Declines vary by region. In the DC area, severest declines are outside of the urban core. From the article:

The drops were calculated using the Zillow Home Value Index, which is the median value of all homes and does not include foreclosures or foreclosure resales. Peaks are measured for each market, compared with current values as of April.

Mr. Humphries said several key factors are at work: For one, lower-priced neighborhoods were ground zero for subprime loans, fueling the collapse in those markets. “Everyone has been hit hard by this housing recession,” Mr. Humphries said recently. “But there are big differences in the amount of pain that has been felt by the different price tiers.” This means that the forest-green clusters likely show wealthier areas that held their value better during the downturn. A separate analysis by Zillow split the housing market into three value tiers, showing that the top tier dropped 28% in value from the peak, but the bottom tier dropped 38%.

Other factors were also at work: Excess supply from the boom drove prices down further during the downturn. And certain closer-in suburbs or city neighborhoods now have more cachet as McMansions lose their luster, undermined by changing buyer appetites and rising gas prices. (Christopher Leinberger, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a smart-growth developer, has argued this point explains much of this price-drop differential.)

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