I created the maps below (with Catherine Mulbrandon) to show the nominal Housing Price Index (HPI). They give a quick and easy glance at the bubble in housing prices in the United States by state. As you have probably seen in the news the bubble was largest in the West in states such as California, Arizona, and Nevada and Florida in the South East. Those states had the largest increase from 2000-2006 (height of the bubble) and the largest decrees from 2006-2010. One can see how homeowners ended up “under water” on their mortgages and left banks and taxpayers with major loses. However, from 2000 to 2010 all states except Michigan had moderate nominal price increases. Michigan missed out on the price increase but with the nation’s highest unemployment rate and with it’s major metro area, Detroit, being the most segregated metropolitan area in the U.S., Michigan crashed along with California and Florida. However, what goes up does not necessarily crash. Virginia, Maryland and NJ all experience large price increases with relatively small decrease. These states are dominated by NY and Washington DC metro areas. Future posts, will focus on smaller geographic areas as urban economic and social dynamics play an important roll in the nation. Unlike the stock market, which changes over time but is the same price no matter where you are located the housing bubble was characterized by change in space and time. (you can get a pdf here)
In the past, housing bubbles have been regional in nature but starting in 2006 nation-wide price declines (even global) are evident although certainly concentrated in particular regions.
Typically what gets reported on the news is the Case-Shiller index for home prices. It only tracks the change in the price of recent homes sales compared to the the last time they were sold in 20 metropolitan areas around the country while excluding those that have undergone major improvement of renovations. This obviously create some bias as the country may experance different dynamics from the housing the Case-Shiller index. One can see the difference here:
The Federal government tracks the same numbers, but also has the information for over 200 metropolitan areas (MSA). They also provide a Housing Price Calculator for metropolitan areas going back 20 years so people can find out what has been happening where they live. Some of the results are surprising. For example over the last decade (starting in q40 middle of graph) there was a price bubble in Boise, Idaho with home prices up 80% over the 2000-2006 time period. However, by 2010 they were only up 30%, which just keeps pace with inflation.
This chart show housing prices for Boise, Idaho 1991-2010
Housing Price Calculator will also give you a chart like this for your community.