When real estate news is reported on television or in the papers, it’s usually told as a national story. Unfortunately, stories like these aren’t helpful for everyday Americans because real estate is not a national market.
Real estate is local.
The graph above was used by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech to Columbia Business School earlier this week. Using data from conforming mortgage fundings, it shows the change in home prices from year-to-year on a county level.
Any county not in red increased in value.
In other words, contrary to what reporters tell us, real estate is retaining its value just fine nationwide. Aside from a few counties and states, most areas appreciated.
Graphics like this put important real estate issues in perspective. Home values may falling precipitously in some areas, but those neighborhoods represent just a fraction of the country overall.
In most regions, home values are up.