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California Cities Lead Nation in Housing Market Recovery

by Simon Campbell, published

Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, the question on most people’s minds has been, “When will the housing market recover?”

The good news is that for many markets, the recovery is already here. Many metro areas across the United States have already seen robust recovery.

In fact, the recovery is so strong that in many areas, bidding wars have become quite common, pushing the final selling price above the asking price. This is due, in large part, to a dearth of single family homes; building had been largely halted over the last few years.

Statistics so far indicate that California metros are seeing some of the strongest growth compared to the rest of the nation. San Francisco is considered by some estimates to be the strongest market in the country, closely followed by several other California metros.

The recovery, however, is not limited to California cities. Cities throughout the U.S. have seen improvements so vigorous that you could almost forget that the housing market bottomed out at all.

Here are the top five housing markets in the United States today:


The Phoenix market has grown faster than anywhere else, with a whopping 24 percent change in home value. Although the current median home value is sitting at just $165,000, values are forecast to increase by over 10 percent in the next year.

Sure, prices in Phoenix aren’t outrageous, but unlike cities such as New York or San Francisco, Phoenix is not working with a tightly limited area. The year-over-year increase, coupled with the potential for ongoing growth make Phoenix today’s top market.


Yes, Las Vegas, that debaucherous adult playground is the second-best market in the country. Its year-over-year statistics showed a 22.3 percent increase in home values, bringing the current median price to $138,000.

Las Vegas home prices are forecast to increase by 7.5 percent over the next year. The comeback here is nothing short of amazing, considering that between 2006 and 2012, home values fell by 56 percent. Although Las Vegas is still in the initial stages of making a comeback, strong growth is definitely on the horizon.


San Jose, located at the southern tip of California’s “Silicon Valley,” is home to some of California’s highest residential property values, which are currently sitting at a median of $676,100. The current home value represents a 22.1 percent year-over-year increase with growth projected at 9.7 percent for the coming year.

San Jose’s lowest period was in Q3 of 2009, but has since made a resounding comeback and is poised to keep growing.


The market in the city on the bay is limited to the small peninsulas that its residents have claimed as home. Current median home value in San Francisco is at $563,200.

The city saw a 21.4 percent year-over-year growth and it is predicted that it will grow another 10.5 percent over the next year.


It’s true; there are three California cities in the top five. California’s capital, Sacramento, currently has a median home value of $241,600 and its year-over-year growth was 20.1 percent. Sacramento is projected to grow 15.6 percent through Q1 of 2014.

Photo Credit: Levent Konuk /

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