Housing Markets that Will Never Recover?

Residents of Detroit, Cleveland, Memphis, Buffalo are probably surprised to know that they didn’t make 24/7 Wall Street’s list of 13 Housing Markets that Will Never Recover.

This is probably just because their housing prices hadn’t risen enough to take the kind of tumbles that the list compilers were looking for (they combined housing price drop and unemployment rates). Although some weaker market areas, like Toledo and Grand Rapids did show up on the list, it has a high showing of bubble cities from California, Florida, and Nevada.

Though list-making is largely a web-traffic generating exercise rather than a journalistic one (I know this from my days as a blogger on a parenting site) and not to be taken too seriously, this one still raises the question: why are we still talking about “recovery” to mean reattaining unsustainable bubble prices? There’s clearly a recovery possible in which Reno and Vegas and Palm Coast, Florida, stay more affordable (and stable) in the long run. And recovery in the markets that were lower priced to begin with is clearly even more complicated.

Perhaps the community development world should make our own lists to focus attention on the results of foreclosures and their effects on neighborhoods. What would they be?

Photo credit: Paraflyer

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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