3 Markets Showing Dramatic Price Gains Year-over-Year

Last week, Sarah Green reported on the national uptick in median home prices. Today we look closer at that trend—specifically at the three markets showing the greatest improvement year-over-year: Phoenix, AZ; the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay in CA; and Denver, CO.

Three top markets for price gains year over year

The data we draw on here charts home prices, inventory sold, and price per square foot from June of 2011 through June of 2012. That percentage you see represents just how much each of the top markets has improved in a year.

 Interestingly though, each of these areas that ZipRealty identified shows dramatic median home price gains only in the first 6 months of 2012. See for yourself.

1.  Phoenix, AZ

One of the nation’s most hard hit metro areas, we’ve all been rooting for Phoenix to rise from the ashes, and we’ve reported on the signs of it growing wings—and now, we have evidence of flight.  Of all the markets ZipRealty serves, Phoenix shows the biggest improvement in median prices, and the real turn around comes as the 2nd quarter closes this year.

Phoenix median home prices y-o-y

© ZipRealty, Inc.

Search for homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ.

2.  East Bay, CA

The East Bay, part of the San Francisco Bay Area, offers a unique case study as well. Just a short drive from San Francisco proper, the East Bay was hammered by real estate’s downturn, while San Francisco remained largely impervious.  But with the new year has come new conditions in the East Bay market. Here’s the ZipRealty data:

East Bay Median price change y-o-y

© ZipRealty, Inc.

The East Bay has in fact made national news of late for being one of the places in the nation where homes are selling the fastest. More signs of a market on the mend? We hope so.

Look for homes for sale in CA’s East Bay

3. Denver, CO

One of the nation’s more stable markets overall, Denver, with its relatively low unemployment, decent median income, and steady property values, has weathered the economic meltdown commendably. As NBC’s Bottomline reports, In 2011 Denver home prices fell from their 2006 peak just 11.1% “well below the national average of 34.2%.”  “A median family income of $75,000 and an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, both well below national averages, are positive signals for a housing market likely to remain on stable footing.” Well, yes, it could stay stable, but if we mean by “stable” that what’s been happening this year will steadily continue, then prices could be poised to go up even higher.  Here’s the ZipRealty data on Denver from June, 2011 to June of 2012.

denver median prices y-o-y

© ZipRealty, Inc.

Check out homes for sale in Denver, CO.

We can all speculate on why 2012 has been so kind to property values, but the most obvious influence is low inventory. Inventory has been down all over the country, causing bidding wars and coinciding median home price inflation.  Another influence:  the decline in distressed property sales. But since both low inventory and low foreclosures on the market are potentially temporary phenomenon, we can’t speculate with certainty whether the upward trend will continue into fall.  We can, however, welcome this news of a great summer for the nation’s real estate.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert.