Daily Archives: December 30, 2013

Blizzard coming Thursday?

Joy in Cos Cob

Cos Cob snow angel

Probably not, given the inaccuracies of computer models (see, e.g., global warming) but if everything cooperates, Thursday and Friday should be a doozy. Keep your shovel by the ready or, for you Greenwich residents, the martinis stirred and the number of your plowman handy.

I’m heading out of town now to be thwarted once again by hooved rats with brains the size of peas, should be back tomorrow night. I don’t do “Amateur Night”, so look for me bright and early New Years Day.

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Home prices have climbed back above 2007 levels, in some areas

The WSJ reports on areas as geographically diverse as Oklahoma, Colorado and California, where home owners are now back above water. It sounds sort of like Greenwich writ large: some areas; Riverside comes to mind – are way above the old record levels, others; mid country, for instance, still lag.

All real estate, like politics, is local.

Values are up more than 13% from their 2007 high in Oklahoma City and by more than 6% in the Denver metro area. Prices are back to all-time highs in 10 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of price data from Zillow, an online real-estate information service. Prices are within 5% of their previous peak in San Jose, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Dallas.

The 10 metro areas enjoying a full-scale rebound are based on figures for the entire region. The Wall Street Journal also analyzed Zillow price data individually in more than 4,400 cities and towns in the country’s largest metro areas. Nearly 10% of municipalities have seen prices reach new highs this year when compared with their previous peak, and prices are within 5% of their previous highs in 300 more.

These cities are largely exceptions, and prices in many parts of the U.S. are still well below their peak. In some 1,500 cities, values are still at least 25% lower than their previous highs. Nationally, values fell 23.8% between 2007 and 2011 before rebounding 9.9% after hitting bottom in late 2011; they are now 16.3% below the high of the last decade, according to Zillow.

The Zillow data also reveal the extreme variation—even within a particular metropolitan area—of the housing boom, bust and recovery. Prices are up 40% from their prior highs in Palo Alto, Calif., which is just 50 miles from San Pablo, a working-class suburb north of Oakland. Values there are still 54% below their peak. While 38% of all Bay Area ZIP Codes are back above their prior peaks, prices in another 18% are more than 25% below their previous highs, according to the Zillow data.

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