Photo: Robert Clark

National median home values hit new highs over the summer, with more than half of the country’s largest housing markets seeing new price peaks.

Although prices are up, the recovery remains very uneven in some of the hottest markets, including New York City — where recovery in the bottom third of the market falls below the national average.

Nationally, nearly 53 percent of all homes are worth more now than before the Great Recession, but only 47 percent of homes in the bottom third of the market are worth the same or more as before the crisis, according to a new report by the listing site Zillow.

The homes in the bottom third are more likely to have not recovered their value in 24 of the country’s 35 largest markets, says Zillow.

Meanwhile, at the national level, 52.8 percent of homes in the top third and 52.5 percent of homes in the middle third have recovered.

The share of homes recovered varies greatly metro to metro. For example, in New York City only 13 percent of homes in the bottom third have recovered from the crisis. Compare that to nearly 100 percent of bottom-third homes that have recovered in Denver, CO.

The contrast is even more severe in Cleveland, IN, where only 8.6 percent of homes in the bottom third have recovered, while 58 percent of homes in the top third have bounced back from the crisis.

Lagging construction levels in the entry-level market is a chief cause of the uneven recovery taking place.

“Most new construction has been at the higher end of the market, so demand for the limited supply of entry-level homes is pushing up their values, but these homes also lost more value when the bubble burst,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in the report.

And many of these homeowners are not seeing their home’s value bouncing back to where it was a decade ago. So while on the surface, the numbers indicate an overall recovery, there are still thousands of homeowners still struggling to recover from the housing crisis, adds Gudell.

“The housing market as a whole is moving at a steady clip, with high demand and low inventory combining to maintain strong home value appreciation,” she says.

Last month, national median home values rose almost 7 percent year-over-year to $201,900. At 12.4 percent, Seattle, WA was the only metro to record double-digit annual growth in August.

Click here to read the entire report.

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