Housing Crisis Hits Previously Healthy Cities

housing crisis
housing crisis

Maybe we are just getting immune to the housing crisis; to the news that homes are underwater in Phoenix and Florida; that all the "sand states" are in real estate hell; and that it costs less to buy than rent in Las Vegas, where 51 percent of the buyers are coming in with cash.

But here's a shocker: Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta are not doing so hot, either. Wait, Seattle? That's the home of on-line real estate giant Zillow and four Fortune 500 companies: clothing merchant Nordstrom, Internet retailer Amazon.com, coffee chain Starbucks and logistics company Expeditors International of Washington plus a host of thriving online and biotech companies. In nearby and uber affluent Redmond, we find Microsoft and Concur, Visible.net, and Data I/O Corporation. Why would these areas be experiencing a decline in real estate values?

As Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow, told the New York Times, he is quite perplexed. "When I go out and talk to people around town, they say, 'Wow, I thought we were going to have a 12 percent correction and call it a day,' " says Humphries. "But this thing just keeps on going."