Recommended Weekend Reading from PeerStreet

Happy Friday! As we close out another week, we wanted to highlight a recent report published by The Washington Post that’s worth adding to your weekend reading. The reporters conducted an analysis of how U.S. housing values have changed since 2004 across 19,000 zip codes. The article’s title, “America’s Great Housing Divide. Are you a winner or a loser?”, is a good indication of their findings — while, at its surface, the housing recovery has positively impacted the economy, it has also led to a wider disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” making it feel unfinished.

At PeerStreet, we use big data as part of our loan underwriting process and believe that it brings efficiency to the process and also illuminates key information about each loan. We access historical submarket and more granular zip code data that helps us analyze the health of target markets and identify key inflection points over time. So, when we saw this report from The Post, and the analysis of thousands of zip codes, it was clearly hard for us to miss.

Not only is there a lot of good data presented in this piece, but it is also not a dry or overwhelmingly dense presentation of the results. The reporters present the information in an interactive way, providing anecdotes that make you take a step back and think about how far we have come since the Great Recession, and also how much work can still be done to improve lagging communities. One of the illuminating stories from the piece is a tale of two cities, comparing the booming San Francisco/Bay Area to its neighbor left behind in the Central Valley, Stockton. The contrast between the cities’ performance overtime is striking.

Whether you believe an uneven housing recovery is to blame for rising economic inequality or you lean on the notion that there were markets artificially propped up pre-2008 that are now more grounded or you have a completely different view on the state of the economy, The Post presents a very interesting way to think about the housing market today.

Here are a couple stats to highlight from the report:

  • On average, single-family homes in the U.S. are worth about 14% more than in 2004.
  • Homes in the most expensive neighborhoods across the country have increased in value, on average, by 21% since 2004.
  • In Washington, DC (zip code 20002), home values are up 91% since 2004.
  • In Stockton, CA (zip code 95202), home values have decreased 40% since 2004.
  • In Manhattan Beach (PeerStreet’s HQ), home values are up 54% since 2004.

We recommend checking out the full article. You’ll also be able to type in your zip code and see how well (or poorly) your neighborhood has fared over the past 10+ years. There will also be more stories added to the report next week discussing Atlanta, Washington DC and Charlotte. Stay tuned.

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