FHFA.gov just released their Home Appreciation Index for the second quarter of 2010.  I’m always interested in this report as it gives a good outside comparison to see how home values are doing right here in Boulder County.  The report computes home appreciation based upon same house sales.  That is, when a house sells they go back and research what that exact home sold for in the past.  This method gives a good indication of what prices are actually doing in any given area over time.

For the four quarters ending on June 30, 2010 homes in Boulder County lost 1.92% on average.  Out of the approximately 300 areas that they track Boulder ranks 72nd in appreciation.  In other words, Boulder area real estate has done better than 75% of the other areas in the United States.

On a wider level, average appreciation for the year ending June 30th was -1.6%.  Colorado ranked 14th among states with a yearly appreciation of -.25%.  Interestingly, California, after a few years of large price depreciation is back on top home appreciation among states with a yearly appreciation of 2.9%.

The graphs below shows home appreciation in Boulder County over time compared to the United States and Boulder County’s national ranking over time.



Just in case you are interested in the areas of the country that are doing the best and worst right now in terms of home appreciation here are the top and bottom 10.

Top Ten Areas for Home Appreciation for Period Ending June 30, 2010:

  1. Springfield, IL – 2.68%
  2. Dubuque, IA – 2.41%
  3. San Jose- Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA – 1.89%
  4. Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine, CA – 1.45%
  5. Huntington-Ashland, WV, KY, OH – 1.4%
  6. Kennewick – Pasco – Richland, WA – 1.36%
  7. Houma – Bayou – Cane – Thibodaux, LA – 1.31%
  8. Buffalo – Niagra Falls, NY – 1.3%
  9. Sioux City, IA, SD, NE – 1.16%
  10. Cedal Rapids, IA – .94%

Bottom 10 Areas for Home Appreciation for Period Ending June 30, 2010:

303.  Bend, OR –  -18.59%

302.  Ocala, FL –  -18.55%

301.  Madera – Chowchilla, CA – -17.64%

300.  Lakeland – Winter Haven, FL –  -17.61%

299.  Reno – Sparks, NV –  -17.31%

298.  Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford, FL – -16.11%

297.  Lake Havasu City – Kingman, AZ –  -15.09

296.  Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach, FL –  -14.98%

295.  Port St. Lucie, FL –  -14.42%

294.  Las Vegas – Paradise, NV –  -13.94%


While home appreciation is not the only indicator of the health of any given real estate market, it does give a good indication of what is going on.  To me it looks like the extremes are not quite so divergent and some areas which have been hit by large depreciation don’t have so much to give.  We still have a ways to go toward recovery.  After all, this is only the 9th quarter in which the United States has every seen home depreciation.  It just so happens that it has been 9 quarters in a row.

Boulder County home appreciation, although at -1.92% is fairly benign given that homes have appreciated by 4.72% over the past five years.

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