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Where the housing recovery is doing best

Brian O'Connell
by Brian O'Connell, MainStreet contributor

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Good news keeps rolling for the U.S. housing market National Home Price Index showing U.S. home values rising by 10.2 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.

“Home prices continued to climb,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Home prices in all 20 cities posted annual gains for the third month in a row. Twelve of the 20 saw prices rise at double-digit annual growth.”

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Blitzer adds that the S&P index posted its highest annual returns in seven years.

But the housing rebound is rolling out unevenly across the country, according to the Homes.com Rebound report released Tuesday.

The report measures how 100 U.S. housing markets have rebounded from home value declines suffered in 2008-09 at the heart of the Great Recession. The Norfolk, Va., company says nine of those 100 markets have “completely rebounded,” while some markets have seen home values climb by 200 percent.

U.S homeowners, it seems, are back in familiar territory, depending on where they live.

“We measure how far each market has recovered from its greatest drop in index value,” says Brock MacLean, executive vice president of Homes.com. “A similar boom-bust scenario played out across virtually every market in the country during the 2000s, and today they are all in some stage of recovery.

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The report sheds light on how certain regions of the country have recovered while others are still struggling to find their way back to prosperity.”

The strongest “rebound recovery” is in the Lone Star State, with complete recoveries in six Texas statewide markets and three markets seeing 200 percent home appreciation. Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., have fully recovered to 192.86 and 173.21 percent, respectively.

Southern locales such as Little Rock, Ark., (106 percent home vale appreciation rate) and Baton Rouge, La., (99 percent) are also coming on strong.

On the downside, Providence, R.I., and New Haven, Conn., are seeing lackluster growth rates — but growth nonetheless — of 5.25 percent and 6.27 percent, respectively. Las Vegas, New York City and Orlando, Fla., are experiencing similar home value growth rates, the report says.

To see where your local housing market stands, check out the Homes.com Rebound Report here.

Brian O’Connell has 15 years of experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health care and career management sectors. He has written 14 books and appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-Span, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and other media outlets and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Street.com. He is a former Wall Street bond trader.