The 2011 numbers are in an homes in America lost another 4% of their value last year. Add the rate of inflation for 2011 to that and the number comes to 7.16%. If you are settling your divorce premised upon a recovery of housing prices it would appear that despite a horrid second and third quarter, equities was the place to be last year.
The Case Schiller data do not look specifically at Pennsylvania housing prices. But if you want to feel good try looking at the data reflecting how far markets have fallen from their peak. From worst to best:
Vegas 60+ percent decline in value
Detroit & Tampa 46%
San Diego & San Francisco 40%
Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle 34-35%
New York & Washington DC 25%
Boston & Denver 12-14%
Lawyers are not economists. But the concern about future home prices has a demographic dimension. Young people graduating from school and entering the employment market are doing so with an unprecedented level of debt. That debt is going to impact their ability to afford housing for many years to come. Our history since 1950 has been for a new generation of affluent young people to “buy” their parents generation out of larger and larger homes. Those days may be behind us.