by Broderick Perkins
(5/9/2012) Seven hardest-hit markets in Florida and several hard-it California markets are among the top markets leading the national housing market to recovery.
Michigan, Texas and Iowa bring to the roster unexpected newcomers exhibiting signs of stable growth, according to Realtor.com's first quarter 2012 "Top Turnaround Town Report," released today.
Realtor.com's turnaround town list is based on data including:
• For sale inventory counts, the speed at which inventory is moving and median list price appreciation.
• Unemployment rates and foreclosure levels.
• Local trends in business, tourism and entertainment.
"We continue to see signs of stabilization and recovery on the local level throughout the country, basing analysis on the real-time nature and accuracy of the Realtor.com data," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Realtor.com's operator, Move, Inc.
"By all indications, the 2012 housing market is unfolding as we expected, and we're encouraged with the progress local markets are making. However, much will depend on the continued health of our economy, specifically job rates, and how lenders will release their foreclosure inventories now that the 49-state AG Agreement (National Mortgage Settlement) has been signed," Berkowitz added.Top turnaround towns
Which towns lead the pack?
At No. 1, the Phoenix, AZ metro with a 7.8 percent unemployment rate enjoyed year over year median list price (MLP) appreciation at a whopping 27 percent, thanks to a growing economy and an inventory of homes for sale slashed nearly 50 percent in the last year.
Miami, FL, at No. 2, enjoyed a more than 24 percent rate of MLP appreciation as its inventory also dropped by more than 48 percent. Investors, many of them closing all-cash deals are flocking here like Snow Birds. Miami home values plummeted 50 percent during the down turn.
Another Florida town, Orlando, followed with an 11.54 percent MLP appreciation upturn. This vacation playland is also a destination for investors.
Rounding out the top ten ranked markets and their rate of MLP appreciation were Boise City, ID, up 17.53 percent; Naples, FL, 14.34 percent; Oakland, CA, 7.07 percent; Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL, 18.27 percent; Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL, 12.95 percent; Sarasota-Bradenton, FL, 12.56 percent and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, 11.92 percent.
Realtor.com said notables, along with Oakland, CA included Silicon Valley's San Jose, CA (No. 24) where MLP appreciation was up 6.67 percent, banking on a resurging technology industry and a new round of initial pubic stock offerings (IPOs), including Facebook. Also, Bakersfield came in at No. 16 with a 4.57 percent rate of appreciation.
Buying a home is impossible without a stable job and lowered unemployment rates boosted No. 12, Dallas, TX and No. 18, Forth Worth-Arlington, TX, both with unemployment rates of 7.1 percent.
Even lower unemployment rates were found in No. 21, Iowa City, IA (4.2 percent); No. 13, Washington, D.C. (5.8 percent) and No. 20, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI (6.2 percent).
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