As home prices have shown no signs of slowing through the first half of this year, researchers who have been tracking so-called “overvalued” housing markets since 2020 are warning some metros have become “a risky bet” as their methodology shows a dangerous disconnect between historical trends and current prices.
“If we’re not at the peak of the current housing cycle, we’re awfully close,” said Ken Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) leading the initiative. “Recent buyers in many of these cities may have to endure stagnant or falling home values while the market settles—and that’s not what they want to hear if they had planned to resell anytime soon.”
Four markets are more than 60% overvalued, according to the latest rankings released Tuesday, May 31, and 11 others are 50% overvalued.
Researchers have emphasized that although there is a possibility that an almost inevitable pullback will be “painful for many consumers” who bought at the top, market conditions are nothing like 2006 and a full-on crash is unlikely.
“In the prior downturn, many homes lost half of their values, but I don’t think we’ll see anything close to that this time around,” said Eli Baracha of Florida Atlantic University, who also leads the project.
Location, location, location
Because the methodology used is based mostly on historical trends, big expensive metros like New York and San Francisco do not score highly as “overvalued,” according to the researchers. Instead, most of the regions that top their rankings end up being mountain west, sun belt and southern cities that have only recently become hot spots as they have vastly exceeded their long-term pricing trends.
Boise, Idaho again topped the list of most overvalued markets this month, leveling off at 72.64% higher home prices than predicted. This is down slightly from a peak in February, when it hit 73.56%.
Boise’s pricing history suggests homes now should cost an average price of $299,202, although the typical buyer is paying $516,548, the researchers found.
Austin, Texas came in second place at 67.70% overvalued, an increase of more than 2% from last month (65.50%)
Ogden, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlanta, Georgia rounded out the top five.
Five cities in Florida made the top 20, including Fort Myers, which jumped more than 6% this month (49.87% to 56.26%) to break into the top ten. Lakeland, Tampa, Sarasota and Melbourne made up the other Florida cities considered very overvalued—all above 45% higher than pricing trends.
Spokane, Washington is the highest-ranked market in the western coastal states, overvalued by 56.25% this month, an increase of 2.64% from last month (53.61%). In the Northeast, no city cracked the top 50, with Rochester, New York highest in that region at 63, 25.42% overvalued (up from 23.82%). Charlotte, North Carolina topped the Atlantic coastal markets, 55.25% overvalued at rank 11 overall.