Property growth sluggish in the US, latest index data suggests

National property growth in the United States increased by a moderate 0.6% quarter on quarter but values are barely rising with variations according to location.

The home data index from Clear Capital shows that in the Northeast and Midwest regional quarterly growth rates were sluggish at only 0.2% while the South saw a 0.7% rise. These rates come with little to no change from the previously reported quarterly growth rates, all within 0.1% of the figures from the previous month.

The firm believes that the current picture is being led by the West where sales have increased 0.3% from 0.9% to 1.2% in a month and it says that this momentum shift is setting the pattern for another strong summer growth season as the region begins to dominate regional performance once again.

The continued dominance of the West is easy to see on the firm’s list of Highest Performing Major Metro Markets, where nine of the current top 15 are in the West.

Seattle continues to lead the nation with 2% growth over the last quarter, an increase of 0.2% since the previous index, while quarterly growth in Sacramento increased 0.3% to 1.5% quarter on quarter and the rest of the Western top markets all reported at least 1.2% growth over the last quarter.

However, the condition of each individual market in the region is varied. Portland, San Jose, and Denver have all surpassed their previous peak market values from before the crash, with Seattle fast approaching its own benchmark.

However, homes in Las Vegas are fetching just over half of peak market values from 10 years ago. The index report also points out that the current distressed property saturation rates in cities like Sacramento and San Diego have improved by 50% or more, illustrating a drastic improvement in the overall health of the market, and yet both markets have quite a way to go to recovering all market value lost during the crash.

‘Real estate market headlines have repeatedly documented the strong, potentially bubble like recovery of the West over the past couple years, and this continued trend of performance doesn’t appear to be going away just yet,’ said Alex Villacorta, vice president for research and analytics at Clear Capital.

‘However, it’s important to remember just how varied the standing of each of these Western metro’s recoveries remains. While the West as a whole has seen incredible performance since the lows of 2011, comparisons between individual markets like Denver and Las Vegas can be a sobering reminder of the devastating effects of the crash and that some markets still have a long way to go in terms of regaining lost value,’ he explained.

‘Conversely, those markets that are reaching new market highs are worth keeping a close eye on since the speed at which those recoveries have occurred is clearly unsustainable in the long term,’ he added.