Blomquist: u201cThe fact that so many counties are still below their 10-year peaks demonstrates just how inflated the home price bubble was.u201d<@SM>There's still a great disparity between 10-year-peak home prices and current average prices in several major markets.<@SM>The difference between peak prices and trough prices is significant in many markets.


IRVINE, CA—Home prices in 46% of US counties were still 30% or more below their 10-year peaks in March, according to RealtyTrac. The firm reports that while 724 counties fell into this category, 315 counties—20%—reached a new 10-year peak in 2013 or 2014.

Major counties that were still below peak include Cook County, IL (Chicago) at 37% below peak; Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix) at 33% below peak; Miami-Dade County, FL (Miami) at 42% below peak; Riverside County (38% below peak) and San Bernardino County (43% below peak) in Southern California; Clark County, NV (Las Vegas) at 47% below peak; Wayne County, MI (Detroit) at 58% below peak; Philadelphia County, PA at 31% below peak; and Cuyahoga County, OH (Cleveland) at 45% below peak.


Major counties that hit a new 10-year peak this year or last year included Kings County (Brooklyn) and New York County (Manhattan) in New York; Travis County, TX (Austin); Honolulu County, HI; San Francisco County, CA; Jefferson County, KY (Louisville); Oklahoma County, OK (Oklahoma City); Davidson County, TN (Nashville); Kent County, MI (Grand Rapids); and Denver County, CO.

According to Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, “The fact that so many counties are still below their 10-year peaks demonstrates just how inflated the home-price bubble was. It is actually good to see this because those previous peaks were too high for most buyers were able to afford.”


Looking at the counties that have hit new peaks, Blomquist adds that most of them fall into one of two categories: markets attracting outside wealth from investors, many foreign—which includes places like Manhattan, San Francisco and to a certain extent Denver; or middle-America markets that did not have as inflated a price bubble back in the mid-2000s—places like Austin, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Indianapolis.

For RealtyTrac’s interactive heat map of housing prices, click here. For a video summarizing RealtyTrac’s housing-price peak findings, click here.

While many are off-peak, home prices on the whole nationwide seem to be on the rise. As reported last week, CoreLogic forecasts that home prices on a national basis will rise 6.3% between April 2014 and April 2015. According to a recent report, firm projects that prices will increase 1% month-over-month from April to May of this year and reports that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 10.5% in April compared to April 2013.