Published On: Wed, Jan 5th, 2022

U.S Home Prices Settling in West, But Still Rising in Florida, Per FAU Study

The frenzied housing market appears to be cooling in many Western U.S. markets, even as prices continue to rise nearly unabated in the Eastern part of the country, according to a new study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University.

Los Angeles and Boise, Idaho are among a growing number of Western metropolitan areas developing a “pricing crown” – a leveling off of home price gains that typically precedes a market slowdown. Other markets gaining pricing crowns include San Diego and San Francisco, as well as Ventura and Stockton, California.

Each month, the researchers rank the most overvalued of the nation’s top 100 housing markets, showing where prices are now compared to where they should be based on historical trends. The researchers use publicly available data from the online real estate portal Zillow or other providers. The data, which extends from January 1996 through the end of November 2021, includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

The November 2021 analysis reveals that homes are overvalued in 98 of the markets, with only Honolulu and Baltimore offering bargains to buyers. The full ranking with interactive graphs can be viewed here.

“These latest results suggest that the long-anticipated housing downturn is already beginning in the Western half of the U.S.,” said Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D., an economist for FAU Executive Education within the College of Business. “This is not totally surprising because it is in the West where the greatest separation between actual housing prices and projected housing prices has occurred to this point.” 

This stands in contrast to the Eastern part of the U.S., where home prices continue to rise. The interactive graphs for markets such as Atlanta and Charlotte reveal a consistent upward trend in prices and growing premiums that buyers must pay. This also is occurring in such metro areas as: Columbus, Ohio; Fort Myers and Tampa; and Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

“Few cities in the Eastern half of the U.S. are exhibiting a pricing crown,” said Eli Beracha, Ph.D., of FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate. “Why varying results are developing between housing markets in the West and East is unclear at this time. What is clear, however, is that this pattern is taking hold.”

Boise remains the nation’s most overvalued market, with buyers paying 78.36 percent more than they should in November 2021, based on the market’s historical pricing trend. But that’s down from 79.22 percent in October 2021.

Each of the other metros in the top 10, including Austin, Texas; Ogden, Utah; and Phoenix, experienced rising premiums, meaning price growth remains steady.

Florida markets also are becoming more overvalued, with Lakeland and Tampa the most exposed areas in the Sunshine State. Lakeland homes are overvalued by 40.58 percent, up from 37.25 in October 2021, while Tampa is at 39.94 percent, compared with 37.37 in October 2021. In November 2020, both those markets were overvalued by less than 15 percent.

Buyers also are faced with increasingly overvalued homes in Miami, Florida’s largest metro. But Miami-area homes, including Broward and Palm Beach counties, still rank as the least overvalued in Florida at 19.95 percent.

“People often complain about Miami home prices, which are certainly no bargain,” Johnson said. “But compared to the rest of the state, Miami is noticeably less overvalued. That should give South Florida buyers some measure of comfort in a competitive market that frequently requires offers over list price.”

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