If the cost of buying a home around here doesn't seem all that different from the bubble years, it's not your imagination.
The Boston area was one of the first major metro markets to see home sales and prices head south.
In fact, the first signs the market was starting to head south cropped up in late 2005.
But after five years of stubbornly retreating prices, we are still stuck at 2003 prices, according to a new report from Zillow.com.
Greater Boston home values have fallen 17 percent from their peak in July 2005, to $328,600, Zillow reports.
That's compared to a 25 percent drop nationally and even greater declines in the 30 percent range in cities like San Diego and Chicago.
So far, though, we are yet again seeing a glacial rate of decline when it comes to local home prices.
Greater Boston home prices actually rose through July, before falling flat, month over month, in August and then going slightly negative, again month over month, in September.
Other interesting points in the Zillow report:
- Only 9.5 percent of Boston area homes have are underwater, compared to a national average of more than 23 percent. Of the 25 major metro markets surveyed by Zillow, only Pittsburgh, at 6 percent, is lower.
- Boston area home prices continue to be near the top nationally, with only San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and San Diego higher now.
- The current real estate downturn, at least nationally, is close to rivaling that of the Great Depression, Zillow claims. I am pressing for more details - certainly the Great Recession, as painful as it was, has not been on the same scale. Well cross our fingers, so far, that is.
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