US housing recovery reflects staggering highs, lows

While home prices are back to their pre-recession peaks in many parts of the U.S., recovery is uneven nationwide and many areas still chug along well below pre-crash dollar amounts.

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Around 10 percent of municipalities have prices that reached new highs in 2013, compared with 2007 peaks, and they are within 5 percent in 300 other areas. Still, these high-flying spots are exceptions, with some 1,500 holding values that hover at least 25 percent below previous highs.

Values tumbled 23.8 percent from 2007 and 2011 nationwide, then rebounded 9.9 percent after hitting bottom in 2011, according to Zillow data cited by the Wall Street Journal. Now, nationwide home values are 16.3 percent below previous decade highs.

In New York City, the Zillow home value index was $354,100 in October, 22.2 percent below the pre-recession peak in May 2007. In comparative extremes, home prices soared 40 percent above prior highs in Palo Alto, Calif., and hover 54 percent below in nearby Oakland. [WSJ]Julie Strickland