Are you in the market for a new home? You might just be in luck—depending on where you’re looking, that is.
According to great data analysis from the Washington Post, the American housing market has by and large recovered from the trauma of the Great Recession, which was precipitated by a massively overinflated housing market and an accompanying wave of financial malfeasance.
But, geographically speaking, the recovery has been shockingly uneven. Some booming markets have shot far ahead of their pre-recession peaks, rewarding homeowners who held tight through the gloom or bought near the bottom. In a few laggard markets, it’s like the recession never ended.
The following five states haven’t completely been left out of the recovery, but their housing recoveries have definitely lagged behind more fortunate parts of the country. For budget-conscious homebuyers looking to build equity, that means opportunities galore.
- New Hampshire
New Hampshire has a lot going for it. It’s close to Boston, boasts stunning landscapes and abundant recreational opportunities, has no state income tax, and isn’t a million degrees in the summer. The smart money is betting on a long-overdue housing upsurge, especially in the beautiful Lakes Region and the seaside communities within commuting distance of Beantown.
According to Forbes, Connecticut is home to two of the most undervalued metro real estate markets in the entire country: New Haven and Hartford. The former was directly impacted by General Electric’s (locally) earth-shattering decision to pull up stakes and move thousands of jobs to Boston. And though Hartford is the seat of state government and a key insurance industry hub, the city continues to struggle with the aftermath of deindustrialization.
“The statewide housing market is challenging, without question,” says Gary Richetelli, a local commercial property developer. “However, the economic picture is undoubtedly improving, and patient buyers who choose undervalued properties in stable communities are likely to make out well in the medium term.”
“Things have been calm enough for long enough that we have some clarity,” Jed Kolko, a housing expert with the University of California at Berkeley, told the Washington Post. “U.S. housing markets are more unequal today than they were before the housing bubble. The spread in home values has gotten bigger. The spread in incomes has gotten bigger.”
Kolko could easily be describing the discrepancy between his local housing market and Detroit’s. But, in a place where hope of an economic renaissance springs eternal, things may finally be looking up. Detroit and other beaten-down Michigan cities are getting serious about right-sizing their housing stock, and rock-bottom prices have encouraged an urban pioneering boom the likes of which Michigan hasn’t seen since the early 20th century. Detroit and Grand Rapids are the two spots to watch—and buy.
Las Vegas was the poster child of the late-2000s housing crash. Unlucky folks who bought near the top lost more than half their investments, on average. For a time, they were practically giving away housing just off the Strip.
Things are more in balance now, but Vegas—and Nevada in general—still presents plenty of opportunities for sharp-eyed buyers. As the state turns into a hub for tech and clean energy, a more sustainable housing boom appears within reach.
Poor Florida. Like Nevada, the state got absolutely creamed during the housing crash. The Gulf side was particularly hard-hit, with places like Fort Myers and Naples collapsing under the weight of a years-long building spree fueled by easy credit. The good news: Beachfront real estate never goes out of style, even if it’s a lot cheaper than it used to be.
Are you searching for a new home? What are conditions like in your local market?