The Biggest U.S. Real Estate Markets

Every now and again, the traffic to specific posts  surprises. Saturday’s "Shiller on the Housing Bubble" was just such a surprise — it accounted  for nearly half of the weekend traffic.

"Give the People What They Want," sang Ray Davies. So from the front page of today’s WSJ, here’s so more Real Estate chatter to keep ther bubblicious conversation going:

New federal housing data show that the nation’s most overheated local housing markets now make up such a large share of the total U.S. market that a sharp fall in their values could stall or slow national economic growth.

The 22 major metropolitan markets with the fastest-growing house prices account for 35% of the value of the nation’s residential real estate, but just a fifth of its population, says the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Their share of the national real-estate market has risen quickly. In 2000, the 22 markets accounted for 27% of all U.S. residential real estate. In 1995, the figure was just 24%.

Some economists say local bubbles are less worrisome than a nationwide one because they are more likely to pop individually, in response to local events, reducing the national fallout. And Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently has said that the U.S. has no national housing bubble, but there are "signs of froth in some local markets."

Even more interesting, the Journal assembled this chart of which housing markets are "booming" and have the most impact on national real-estate values . . .

The biggest markets

Booming northeast and California housing markets dominate national real-estate value

(Bolding indicates
boom market)

Share of
U.S. Market
Share of
U.S. Pop
Los Angeles-Long Beach
$1,171.4 6.8% 3.4%
New York NY PMSA 1,145.7 6.6% 3.2%
Boston MA-NH PMSA 720.9 4.2% 2.1%
Chicago IL PMSA 631.9 3.7% 2.9%
Washington DC-MD-
562.4 3.3% 1.8%
Orange County CA PMSA 497.8 2.9% 1.0%
San Diego CA MSA 469.8 2.7% 1.0%
San Francisco CA PMSA 350.1 2.0% 0.6%
Nassau-Suffolk NY PMSA 323.1 1.9% 1.0%
Riverside-San Bernardino
311.4 1.8% 1.3%
Philadelphia PA-NJ PMSA 299.2 1.7% 1.8%
Everett WA PMSA
242.5 1.4% 0.9%
Newark NJ PMSA 224.1 1.3% 0.7%
Atlanta GA MSA 214.2 1.2% 1.5%
Minneapolis-St. Paul
206.4 1.2% 1.1%
Baltimore MD PMSA 202.5 1.2% 0.9%
Phoenix-Mesa AZ MSA 196.9 1.1% 1.2%
Miami FL PMSA 194.8 1.1% 0.8%
Houston TX PMSA 182.1 1.1% 1.6%
Sacramento CA PMSA 179.3 1.0% 0.6%
Fort Lauderdale FL PMSA 172.8 1.0% 0.6%
Denver CO PMSA 171.2 1.0% 0.8%
Dallas TX PMSA 161.3 0.9% 1.3%
Las Vegas NV-AZ MSA 157.1 0.9% 0.6%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-
Clearwater FL MSA
153.5 0.9% 0.9%
Portland – Vancouver OR-WA PMSA 137.4 0.8% 0.7%
New Haven-Bridgeport-
Waterbury CT NECMA
135.1 0.8% 0.6%
St. Louis MO-IL MSA 109.2 0.6% 0.9%
Orlando FL MSA 101.7 0.6% 0.6%
Kansas City MO-KS MSA 90.2 0.5% 0.6%
Pittsburgh PA PMSA 89.1 0.5% 0.8%
Cincinnati OH-KY-IN PMSA 78.7 0.5% 0.6%
Indianapolis IN MSA 67.1 0.4% 0.6%
San Antonio TX MSA 61.4 0.4% 0.6%
Total for Largest Markets $10,012.4 58.1% 39.5%

PMSA = Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area
MSA = Metropolitan Statistical Area
*Based on median values and number of units method
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.


Booming Local Housing Markets Weigh Heavily on Overall Sector
By Greg Ip
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, June 20, 2005; Page A1,,SB111922752233963690,00.html

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. zgveritas commented on Jun 20

    What would the the world of contemporary finance look like if US mortgage debt lost it’s traditional AAA rating?

  2. spencer commented on Jun 20

    I love to see some comments from people in other markets, but here in the Boston surburbs I’m seeing significant signs that the market has peaked.

  3. Will commented on Jun 20

    What signs are those? Im curious, as Im also a Boston suburbanite.

  4. 3martini commented on Jun 21

    What Happens After Housing Drops?

    Hope you like that house. It’s going to be yours for a long time.

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