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Most U.S. homes are worth less than before the real estate crash of 2007

Despite the recovery in housing markets across some part of the U.S. in recent years, most notably in large metropolitan areas, home prices on a national level will not fully recover until 2025, according to a new report from Trulia.

Fresh data provided by the property listing and analytics company shows that only about one-third of homes have surpassed their pre-recession peak value.

In fact, property price growth in most markets is so slow that Trulia estimates that it will take about eight years for the national housing market to fully recover — that is, for all home values either reaching or surpassing their previous peaks.

One of the main reasons why residential property price gains nationwide are now failing to match those recorded pre-crash is because mortgage lending market condition are now far more stringent, designed to avoid a repeat of the subprime crisis that brought down U.S. banks and the global economy.

The housing market recovery over the last decade has been led by areas that have seen major employment and population growth, such as Denver, Seattle and San Francisco, where home prices have surpassed their recent peaks, and continue to rise at double-digit paces.

“In essence, income growth led home value recovery coming out of the recession, but low inventory is now increasingly playing a role in recent price appreciation across the largest U.S. housing markets,” said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist.

In areas hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, less than 4% of homes have recovered to pre-recession price peaks. These include Las Vegas; Tucson, Arizona; Camden, New Jersey; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and New Haven, Connecticut.

“Housing is what economists call a ‘normal good’, so when incomes rise, households tend to spend more on housing, which pushes up prices,” McLaughlin added. 

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