Real Estate Prices going down? Where?

Where, in the United States, are Real Estate prices going down? (Not Detroit.)

I’m wondering if a late-life relocation is in order.

If you want to start with states and then drill in from there, this should be a good starting point.

Darkest blue = hottest is an idiosyncratic choice, but the answer appears to be…

The direction of prices doesn’t seem to be your issue. Shouldn’t it more be where you could afford something?

A less “hot” market is pretty meaningless if prices are already astronomical, and is often in fact the reason that prices are leveling off in some places (like many areas of California where prices have been in the 7 figures for years). But the general trend around the US and Canada is a continuing hot market. Around here there seems to be only one kind of real estate sign: “For Sale” with “SOLD” plastered over it.

CBS Sunday Morning did a story last week on The Great Reshuffle and it’s real estate impact, particularly in Boise ID where prices have shot up.

But they didn’t answer the question on my mind: all those Boiseans who are cashing out have to live somewhere…where are they going?

I don’t think there are very many places where real estate prices are declining.

These articles may be of interest to the OP:

Go to almost any city in the northeastern rust belt.** They all have zillions of homes available for prices that are a fraction of those in the south and southwest. The median price for a home listing in my county is $169,000. (It’s $450,000 in Boise’s Ada county.) For twice that you can get 4 or 5 bedrooms and 3,000 square feet. There are only 12 homes in the entire county listed for more than $1,000,000. Look anywhere in upstate New York and you can live like a king for money that wouldn’t get you a small 1 bedroom apartment in California.

** No, not New York or Boston.

Look at maps of population change. Basically areas of long-term population decline are going to have lower prices:

Seems like you wouldn’t want to buy into an area where prices are going down, because in a few months you’re looking at a net loss. The trick is finding the area where prices have bottomed out, or close to it, and can only go back up. (And if you manage to solve that question consistently, you have a license to print money.)

That’s why I said “city” in my post. PastTense’s map shows an overwhelming number of rural counties that are losing population and few of those have any prospects of recovery in the foreseeable future.

However, most of the red dots on the map are urban counties, which still retain good cheap housing plus the amenities of being urban, minus the traffic jams. You’d have to investigate the job possibilities for your particular expertise, but you’d need to do that anywhere.

People moving in to take advantage of the cheap housing is the best hope for revival of these cities and they will be welcomed, unlike new arrivals in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, or Boise.

Anyplace I buy has to be cheap.
The State Of Tennessee, (my boss) ain’t generous.

When my son moved to Philly (this was 20 years ago; I don’t know the situation today) he was astonished how cheap houses were. When he moved away 2 years later, it took a long time to sell. In 1950, the city hit 2 million people. By 2000, it was 1.5 million. It has gone up a bit since. For similar reasons, look at Cleveland and Detroit.

Some are older folks moving into assisted living, or just down sizing to a smaller house or apartment, some are moving overseas, if possible, some are moving to other areas of the country for political reasons, and some are, not cashing out per se, but downgrading because the housing situation is so hot that they fear they soon won’t be able to afford the house they had. Some are company sponsored moves for work in some other part of the world.

The last few families I’ve moved into the area this month have said that the market is such that you make a cash offer above asking or you don’t get the house. You don’t deliberate or negotiate. One family told me they lost a house in the span of 30 minutes while deciding. Another told me they offered 80 thousand above the asking price and no inspection, they paid all the fees, etc. It’s nuts here right now.


What’s your problem? The median price for a house in San Francisco is $1.8 million. There are exactly two houses for sale in Monroe County costing that much and both are over 10,000 square feet. Median price is $170,000.

I repeat. For the cost of either a nothing house or no house at all in the booming sectors of the country, you can get a truly fine house pretty much anywhere in upstate New York. How can you dispute that?

Where is “upstate”, to you?
I’d like to check.

I’d be willing to bet it is anything outside of the New York City metro area (maybe a little further) and probably not around Albany either:

Fiorello: Can he live in New York on three dollars?
Driftwood: Like a prince! Of course he won’t be able to eat, but he could live like a prince.