Housing Predictor Forecasts Major Price Drop

By: Mike Colpitts

Housing prices will fall an average of 4.2% nationally in 2007, the largest drop in U.S home prices since 1991, but despite that many local real estate markets in the U.S. will still appreciate, according to Housing Predictor, which forecasts real estate markets in all 50 US States.

After nearly five years of record housing appreciation in many markets throughout the country, only seven states still have markets that are strongly appreciating. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas still have very active real estate markets continuing their upward trend in the south.

In the west Washington State and Utah are experiencing massive growth. Spokane, Washington, east of the Cascade Mountain Range hasn't seen a booming real estate market like this in 15 years.

However, California is the hardest hit single state in falling home values in the nation. Housing Predictor forecasts that San Diego will drop more than 13% on average in 2007 to lead the state in depreciation.

The Los Angeles metropolitan area and surrounding suburbs will fall more than an average of 11%. However, Miami, Florida is forecast to be ground zero in the nation's falling real estate values in 2007, according to Housing Predictor's forecasts.

The Miami market has seen sky-rocking appreciation the last three years with many investors flocking to the area to buy preconstruction condos. The condominium market exploded with new investors, many of whom are now cancelling transactions before the units are even completed.

The over abundance of units has brought the Miami market to a shadow of its once booming cycle and now has an over supply of units to sell. As a result Miami is forecast to drop 13.6% in 2007.

Texas, however, may be the new boom market in the U.S. After seeing prices fall on the heels of business scandals and the resulting loss of many jobs, and foreclosures, the Houston real estate market is on the road to recovery and will appreciate strongly in 2007, according to a report on the site. Texas is under going the largest growth in its history and is forecast by the U.S. Census Bureau to be one of only three states to have nearly 50% of the nation's population by 2030.

Austin, San Antonio and El Paso, which is in western Texas are also experiencing upward spirals in home appreciation as more and more people migrate to warmer sun belt climates.

Seventeen interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and an over supply of new homes in many of the nation's cities slowed most of the country's real estate markets.

In Louisiana the market is under going unprecedented times, battling back from the disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in August of 2005.

More than 150,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by the hurricane. Blocks of homes have been bull dozed to the ground and others are awaiting major repairs. The fixer-upper has become a common commodity for investors in the New Orleans market, hoping to make repairs and sell the homes at higher prices to new owners.

North of New Orleans a handful of communities are gaining new residents from the Big Easy, all of whom need housing. The exodus from New Orleans has produced growth in northern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. All are experiencing growing local real estate markets.

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