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What You Need to Know About Risky Housing Markets

There is no doubt that house prices are falling and that certain areas of the U.S. have become “risky” markets. Home prices have dropped more in the first quarter of this year than at any other quarter in the last 17 years. PMI Mortgage Insurance says home values may well decline across the country over the following two years.

Here’s a peak into the “risky” market areas and the stable markets, as well as some valuable tips on selling your home in this post-bubble climate.

The riskiest markets identified are those that experienced a rapid price appreciation in the previous years and were part of that real-estate bubble, which many were able to turn into the quick real estate buck by flipping houses. But with the sudden crash, they are experiences the hardest hit, with the most foreclosures:

- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
- Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla.
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.
- Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.
- Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
- Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif.
- Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla.
- San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.
- Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla.
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
- Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria
- Boston-Quincy, Mass.

The risk factor of these cities is calculated using a formula that incorporates data on house sales, affordability which includes per capita income, appreciation and mortgage rates and employment rates in each particular area. On a positive note, these areas where the housing market are risky still have strong employment rates which bodes well for them being able to ride this difficult tide.

Texas and the Midwest were markets that remained largely untouched by the real estate boom, and are therefore largely untouched by the current decline in real estate. These areas include:

- Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- Pittsburgh
- Dallas-Plano-Irvington, Texas
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
- Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.
- Columbus, Ohio

As a seller today it’s very important to use the internet as an effective marketing tool. Prospective buyers are definitely using the Internet now more than ever. Before stepping out to an open house, buyers are more inclined to narrow down their home search using internet searches where they can see (ideally) clear, bright, professional photos of your home, complete with virtual tours. Being on the cutting edge of internet technology and having your home visually well represented is of ultimate importance. Find an agent who is savvy and willing to create a Web site for each house they represent. If you can’t find an agent who’ll do this, remember you can set up a web page yourself.