The FDIC has an interesting analysis provided by their economists on the varying impact of the recession on the four regions of the US: The 2009 Economic Landscape: How the Recession Is Unfolding across Four U.S. Regions. Of all the alphabet soup of federal agencies and their output on housing and economics, FDIC tends to be the best.

South and West, Sand States – (Sand States?)

The housing downturn has been most acute in four states—Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada— that had experienced some of the highest rates of home price appreciation in the first half of the decade. While these states are not all contiguously located, their similar housing cycles and abundance of either beaches or deserts have led some analysts to label them “Sand States.”

Midwest, Industrial –

Although the Industrial Midwest did not experience the significant home price appreciation of the post- 2001 housing boom to the same degree as other regions, its residential real estate markets have still suffered. Existing home sales in the Industrial Midwest declined 33 percent from their second quarter 2005 peak, roughly in line with the nationwide decline. In 2008, home prices fell in all of the region’s states, led by Michigan, where prices declined by more than 10 percent. Further, in half of the Industrial Midwest states, foreclosure rates are at or slightly higher than the national rate.

Northeast, Financial Sector –

Job losses and reduced compensation in New York City’s financial sector are also having a detrimental effect across real estate markets. Home prices in the New York City metro area declined by 9.2 percent on average in 2008. This year-over-year decline in home prices was the largest in the 22-year history of these data, slightly exceeding the previous high recorded in March 1991. Still, New York City home prices fell much less during 2008 than in some other major cities, which saw double-digit declines.

Midsection, Energy and Agriculture –

Though the economies in the nation’s midsection continue to perform well relative to the nation, the downward trends in the energy and agricultural sectors may weigh on the region in the near future. Moderating commodity prices are likely to put a damper on the area’s economic conditions, and the region may not only cease to be a source of economic strength but also could enter recession at a much later stage than the nation.

Download full report from FDIC.


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