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Worst 5 Markets for Home Sales in 2012

By AlfordBrian Subscribe to RSS | March 20th 2012 | Views:

It’s no secret that the real estate market has been suffering, but things are looking up. However, there are still areas in the country that are having a difficult time. And if you’re looking to sell your home—even if you’re trying to do it FSBO—in the following five markets, you’re going to most likely have a rough time of it.

1. Wilmington, Delaware

It’s estimated that in 2012, Wilmington, DE will experience an 8.2% decline, bringing the average home price down to $86,000. Mike Colpitts of Housing explained that “Delaware is one of the hardest-hit states in the country. Not only is the economy suffering; high unemployment in the double digits for much of the state has racked the region—triggering massive foreclosures and short sales.”

2. Atlanta Metro Area, Georgia

Let’s be clear—we’re not just talking about Atlanta the city. We’re also talking about surrounding towns including Sandy Springs and Marietta. The area underwent a huge drop in real estate prices over the past year, and during the housing crash, this market overcorrected in a big way. During the boom that occurred between 2002 and 2007, home prices rose 15%, then dropped 21%, which isn’t good no matter how you look at it. While Atlanta is an area that has a very high population growth and a diversified local economy, it’s experiencing high unemployment—and the typical income is below average. So if you’re looking to sell in the Atlanta area, you may want to hold off for another year or so.

3. Kauai, Hawaii

Expert Colpitts estimates that in 2012, Kauai will experience a decline of 7.6%. This Hawaiian island is one of the lesser-developed and, like several of the other areas on this list, experienced quite the boost during the housing boom—which was then followed by a steep decline. Colpitts elaborates, “The vacation home market has been slammed by the real estate crash, and no place other than Florida has more second homes and condos than Hawaii.”

4. Jacksonville, Florida

Again, we’re talking about a city that saw a dramatic increase in real estate prices during the housing boom—an astounding 58%—and then a severe drop of 33% afterwards. Although Jacksonville, like Atlanta, has a diversified economy, it has been hit hard by the recession, causing unemployment to rise. So don’t consider putting up that “for sale by owner” sign in your Jacksonville home just yet—it may be a good idea to wait and see if real estate prices rise over the next couple of years or so first.

5. Las Vegas, Nevada

The City of Sin is also the city of real estate disappointment, it seems. Colpitts projects that the city will experience an 8.4% decline in 2012, bringing the average home price down to an unimpressive $89,000. “It’ll be a long time for Vegas to recover from its downturn,” he says. And the city’s demise can be partially attributed to the fact that it was the second most popular market in the United States for “Alt-A” and subprime mortgages during the housing boom.

As you can see, these five housing markets aren’t going to improve any time soon—but don’t get discouraged! With the way that our economy has gone up and down over the past decade, who knows what the next two or three years could bring?

Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina, who writes about a wide variety of topics including homes for sale by owner, lifestyle, economy, and ways to save money.

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