Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Non-Wisconsin Cities See Fastest Housing Value Dip

CNN has compiled a list of the 25 US housing markets where home values could fall the fastest - - many on average above 20%.

Most are in the once-fabulous sunbelt - - Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas - - and none are in Wisconsin.

We never had the stratospheric climb in housing values that some of these now fading stars experienced, so maybe we'll have a softer landing here.

Two looming issues if housing stays depressed for a few years: falling property tax collections.

With tax increases limited annually by legislation, and public sentiment, the lines on the graph will cross, and some municipalities with declining property tax bases could face a drastic plunge in projected revenues - - the very dollars that keep the fire trucks rolling and police squads patrolling.

I posed that "what if" question a year or so ago to a City of Milwaukee official, whose response was "I don't want to think about it."

The other questions is what happens to Baby Boomers' nest eggs, many of which included inflation equity in the old homestead.

I can hear you now: "I don't want to think about it."

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