Every quarter the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) publishes a home value index.  The index includes results for approximately 300 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA’s) around the nation.  Home values are also figured for states and regions.  I prefer this index to the popular Case-Schiller Index because it includes a much broader measure of the real estate markets than the 20 largest metro areas can provide.  It is also nice that the index measures home appreciation in the Boulder area.  The Boulder MSA includes all of Boulder County.  For the 1 year period ending March 31, 2010 home appreciation in Boulder was -2.3%.

Let’s put this number in perspective.  On the negative side -2.3% is the lowest appreciation rate in decades.  At the end of December home appreciation in Boulder County was -1.5%.  Those in the glass half full group (aye) find comfort, despite a loss in home values, in comparison.  So here are some facts that make us locally feel pretty lucky.

  • The average home appreciation for every home in the United States was -3.1%.
  • Only nine states (including Washington DC) had positive appreciation.
  • Only 10 of the 301 MSA’s had positive home appreciation.
  • Boulder County, despite a negative 2.3% annual appreciation ranks 50th out of 301 MSA’s.
  • The 20 worst areas for appreciation begins with Detroit at -13.49% and ends with Bend, OR at -23.03% in annual appreciation.
  • Homes values in Boulder County have increased 6.89% over the past 5 years.
  • Home values in Merced CA have decreased 49.3% over the past 5 years.
  • Home values for all US homes have decreased 2.85% over the past 5 years.

Yes, our market is not as robust as it once was but, boy, we need to count our blessings.  Our market has not been overrun with foreclosures, supply and demand have been pretty much in line with each other, our job market has remained strong.  We are in relatively good shape.  This does not mean that we are out-of-the-woods yet.  We still have some major challenges to overcome, both locally and nationally, but despite the negative appreciation, I am feeling much better about our market than I was a year ago.

The charts below (hit the four arrows for full screen), show the trends in Boulder’s FHFA ranking as well as compares Boulder County’s home appreciation with the United States’.

Boulder Home Appreciation – FHFA

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