Housing Market in 2000s? A Great Decade!

Housing market trend of the decade? Real estate is actually in a better position than it was in 2000To all the Henny Pennys of the world who think the housing market is in dire straits, Forbes.com reminds us that the 2000s were actually a great decade for real estate overall. According to Stephanie Fitch, the value of a square foot in the U.S. is actually up 58 percent since we started the decade. Even after considering the housing bubble and ensuing mortgage crisis, that's still an average annual gain of 4.3 percent in value per square foot. Read on for Fitch's full analysis.

With all the teeth-gnashing over the real estate bubble, the bust and the mortgage mess, you can be forgiven for failing to notice this little tidbit: Housing had a superb decade.

In fact, the value of a square foot of housing in the U.S. is up 58% from its January 2000 level, according to data from New York housing analytics firm Radar LogicRadar Logic on the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. That represents an average annual gain of 4.3% in the value of one square foot of housing.

While the average gain was impressive, some cities did exceedingly well while others languished. New York came out best of all, with home values rising 6.2% a year, thanks in large part to the explosion in Wall Street wealth. Homes in New York now cost 91% more per square foot than they did in 2000. Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., weren't far behind, rising 85% and 72%, respectively.

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Who lagged behind? The usual suspect, Detroit, was the big loser, shedding an average of 3.3% a year during the decade. Houses in and around the Motor City cost 33% less per square foot than they did in January 2000. Las Vegas's hammering has left houses there 11% cheaper. Cleveland came in third worst, down 9% for the decade.

Of the 25 metro areas that Radar Logic follows, 20 are up at least a bit since January 2000. There are some surprises in the top 10, including Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Neither city is synonymous with the housing bubble--or bust.

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

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