In the latest home price index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Boulder County was listed in the top 20 of the 292 largest metro areas for annual appreciation for the period ended December 21, 2008. Boulder’s annual appreciation was listed as 2.99% while the U.S. as a whole had a depreciation of 8.27%. Colorado was ranked 17th with a annual depreciation of 2.61%. Prices fell in 44 states plus Washington D.C..
The graph below shows Boulder’s appreciation compared to the U.S.’s over the past 11 quarters. It is interesting to see the negative trend of the nation as a whole compared to our relatively steady rate. It is important to know that the national trend is not true in Boulder Colorado.
The top 20 areas for appreciation are mostly in the Southeastern U.S. including; Alabama, Texas and South Carolina. The top metro area for appreciation over the past year was Decatur, AL with a 6.58% increase.
The bottom 20 areas for appreciation continue to be exclusively in California, Florida and Nevada. The town that has been hardest hit over the past year was Merced, CA at -49.50%.
Delving a bit deeper I looked at the 5 year returns. Remember that the Boulder area did not have a big run-up in home prices during the early 2000’s like many areas that are now falling did. Over the past 5 years Boulder has gained 16%. This ranks us 192nd out of 292 MSA’s. Areas like Merced had a run up but are now down 33% over 5 years. The most appreciation over the past 5 years was in Wanatchee, WA at 75%.