Housing Downturn Hits Unsuspecting Markets

Areas once thought to be virtually immune to the downturn in the housing market are starting to see signs of decline.
February 14, 2011, 2pm PST | Nate Berg
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Cities like Seattle, Minneapolis and Atlanta are now entering their own downturn in the housing market, and there are no signs of it slowing.

"In the last year, home prices in Seattle had a bigger decline than in Las Vegas. Minneapolis dropped more than Miami, and Atlanta fared worse than Phoenix.

The bubble markets, where builders, buyers and banks ran wild, began falling first, economists say, so they are close to the end of the cycle and in some cases on their way back up. Nearly everyone else still has another season of pain.

"When I go out and talk to people around town, they say, ‘Wow, I thought we were going to have a 12 percent correction and call it a day,' " said Stan Humphries, chief economist for the housing site Zillow, which is based in Seattle. "But this thing just keeps on going." "

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Published on Monday, February 14, 2011 in The New York Times
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