Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bucking the national trend

I have heard mostly anecdotal evidence that suburban areas had been harder during this housing bubble, but Business Week has the data to back it up:
Annual price changes in most of the largest metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, followed a similar pattern: Values were most stable within a 10-mile radius of the center of the city, but generally worsened with each successive radius ring as far as 50 miles from the center of the city.
Hey, that's great news for us in-town advocates. Huh? What?
Not all cities kept precisely to the pattern, in part because of the complications of geography. ... in other areas—Detroit, Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta, and Reno, Nev.—the opposite phenomenon seems to be in play, with real estate values actually improving away from the city.
Aw, crap. I figure this is a result of the large number of foreclosures on the west side and south side of town. Drive through Adair Park or Vine City to see what I mean. It is really depressing. Also, for all the progress that has been made in in-town areas like Virginia-Highlands and Grant Park over the last 20 years, there are still huge swaths of in-town neighborhoods that have decades or revitalization to go.

Actually, if you look at the actual numbers for Atlanta, the worst declines can be found in the Roswell-Marietta-Stone Mountain ring of suburbs, although not by much:

10 miles: -5.9%
20 miles: -6.3%
30 miles: -5.0%
40 miles: -4.0%
50 miles: 1.1%
Still, not so hot.

h/t: Richard Florida


  1. I agree. East Atlanta still has at least another 10 years, probably longer, before it reaches a Virginia Highlands level.

  2. I think it's possible that East Atlanta could reach a Virginia Highlands level, although I'm not sure how many of the local inhabitants would like that. There is something admirable about the way that EAV and Little Five have managed to stay rough around the edges. EAV is the best comparison to Virginia Highlands commercial district, though, in terms of tenant mix and urban design.

    Another example - I think Grant Park is about where Inman Park was when I was growing up. It is about 8 years behind. Whenever the housing market picks back up, even if it is in 7 years, I think Grant Park will be very well positioned, presuming all the retail planned for Memorial Dr. happens. A grocery store is the biggest thing the neighborhood is missing, and the restaurant scene hasn't hit a critical mass (although there are lots of great eateries so far).


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