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Happy 2013 - The Numbers Are In!

Eileen Neary - Jan 11, 2013

The year of 2012 has finally come to a close; the data has been crunched, the patterns have been examined, and the Best and Worst lists are finally out!

The housing market in the US has certainly seen its share of ups and downs in recent years. In 2012, many housing markets continued to suffer, many states continued to be hit with foreclosures left and right, and a few areas were able to drastically improve. Overall, over the course of 2012, the prices of homes increased 5.1%. Some cities had impressive turnarounds to their housing economies over this past year. For example, in Tacoma, Washington, the average price of homes for sale increased a whopping 17.7%. The housing markets in Fresno and Sacramento, California, also saw improvements around 18%.

Atlanta saw an 18.9% difference between 2011 and 2012, while Salt Lake City jumped 20.5%. San Jose, Oakland, and Phoenix also improved around 21%. Seattle saw a nearly 25% difference in the past year, which, while impressive, still didn't match the year's biggest housing market turnaround in the US in 2012. Between 2011 and 2012, the cost of homes in Las Vegas, Nevada grew an incredible 27.5%.

Now, the bad news.

While foreclosure rates have been dropping in most locations, the rates are still very high in some states. In Indiana, 1 in every 684 homes received a foreclosure notice this past November, and foreclosure filings have increased nearly 32% over the last year. In Michigan, foreclosure filings have decreased almost 50%, but the rate of foreclosure is still 1 in every 621. Georgia saw about every 1 in 500 homes receiving notice of foreclosure, and Arizona, Ohio, and South Carolina all had rates of about 1 in every 450. California's foreclosure filings were down significantly--about 50%, but still, 1 in every 430 homes was hit by foreclosure in 2012. California has long topped the charts with the number of its cities with high percentages of foreclosure, but it still doesn't have the highest rate in the country. Illinois and Nevada both had foreclosure rates of 1 in every 390, but the state with the high foreclosure rate in 2012? Florida.

An incredible 1 in every 304 homes was hit by foreclosure in November 2012 in Florida. In the past year, the rate of foreclosure filings have increased about 20%. Nearly 30,000 homes in Florida were in a state of foreclosure in November 2012, higher than any state in the nation, save for California's nearly 32,000 foreclosed properties.

So what's the outlook? Las Vegas may have made the biggest turnaround, coming from its spot topping the "20 Cities with Highest Foreclosure Rates" list in 2011, and the rate of foreclosure in Florida is still horrifying, but will it stay that way?

The numbers have been crunched--and the list revealing the worst housing markets in the future is out. For Florida, it's not good news. Of the "15 Worst Housing Markets For the Next Five Years" in the United States, four areas in Florida made the list.

The Crestview/Fort Walton Beach/Destin area of Florida is going to continue to suffer. Home prices have been declining since 2005, and the annual growth expected between now and 2017 is just 1.8%. The Naples/Marco Island area of Florida is predicted to be even worse off, with an annualized expected growth rate of just 0.9%. The Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach/Deerfield Beach area of Florida is actually anticipated not to grow at all; the annualized expected growth through 2017 is -0.2%. The absolute worst housing market in the next five years is expected to be the Miami/Miami Beach/Kendall area of Florida, where the annualized expected growth is -0.6%. The unemployment rate there is still higher than the national average at 9.2%.

Some of the other "Worst Housing Markets" for the next five years include Phoenix, AZ, with a meager 1.1% annual growth rate anticipated, Denver, CO, with 1.3%, and Washington DC with 1.6%.

The other end of the spectrum is a little bit more inspiring. While Las Vegas did make the biggest turnaround in 2012, it isn't expected to become one of the "15 Best Housing Markets for the Next Five Years" in the United States. The area with the biggest expected annual growth is actually Medford, Oregon, with a rate of 11.2%. Close frontrunners include Panama City, Florida with 9.5%, and Sebastian, Florida with 8.7%. Also on this list is Ocala, Florida with 8.0%, which is good news for Florida--the whole state isn't suffering, after all! The other best housing markets in the upcoming years are anticipated to be Santa Fe, NM, Madera, Santa Barbara and Napa, CA, Biloxi, MS, Tucson and Yuma, AZ, Brunswick, GA, Yakima, WA, Springfield, OR, and Glens Falls, NY.

A recent Trulia survey found that 31% of renters planned to purchase a home in the next two years, up from 22% in the same poll in 2011. Overall, housing prices in the United States have improved 3.8% since November 2011. This information, in addition to the fiscal cliff being narrowly avoided (aka, tax credits for energy-efficient new homes extended, deduction for mortgage insurance extended, housing allowance rules for affordable housing extended, mortgage debt tax relief extended, etc.) points maybe not to the shiny, new housing market of our dreams, but to a significantly brighter 2013, at least.

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