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What cities face the biggest risk for a bust?

What cities face the biggest risk for a bust?

By Ron Trujillo/

Whenever a housing boom happens, folks naturally look for a bust right around the corner.

You know, that awful experience when homeowner equity dramatically drops from the peak price. It happened almost 20 years ago – then caused by the Internet boom and bust – and several years ago, with the arrival of The Great Recession and the housing market collapse.

So, it’s only natural that critics, naysayers and skeptics are thinking about the next downturn.

Well, the risk for a market meltdown depends on where you live in California, according to a recent CoreLogic report.

Three of the nation’s nine highest-risk markets are in California: Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Los Angeles-Long Beach and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties). The other six high-risk markets are in Florida.

The highest-risk markets are determined by the home price index, rent growth, percentage of homes being flipped and fraud. Basically, fast-rising prices are not being followed by the similar gains in rents, at least in Southern California.

Northern California – especially in the Bay Area, where prices have peaked in many communities – escaped the closely watched list. However, no California city cracked the lowest-risk list, which was dominated by markets in the Northeast and South.

Feature photo of Riverside by Jon Bilous/Shutterstock. Photo of Long Beach marina by A.G. Baxter/Shutterstock. Photo of Griffith Park in Los Angeles by Ron Reiring/Flickr.

Does shorter drive equal buy time?

What California cities’ residents have the longest commute time?

Los Angeles? Nope. The City of Angels didn’t even crack the top 10 worst commutes list, where New York, Long Island and Washington, D.C., finished in the top three spots.

Only Oakland and Riverside and San Bernardino counties – also known as the Inland Empire – were the California regions that made the top 10 worst commutes list, at seventh- and eighth-place, respectively. Both cities’ residents spend almost 30 minutes commuting one way to work – or home, according to a Trulia report based on Census Bureau data.

Los Angeles, where bumper-to-bumper traffic dominates, has benefited from more people telecommuting in recent years. And many Bay Area residents, especially those in San Francisco, live close to work.

A short commute, whether it’s driving or depending on public transportation, is the second-ranked must-have when choosing a home to buy or rent.

An easy commute ranks behind crime as a deciding factor on where to live, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. But a short commute often gives way to other needs, such as more affordable housing or top-rated schools.

In fact, even though a short commute makes the list of high-ranked wants, only 16% of Americans said it was their top consideration.

So, it’s probably not a surprise that commutes are actually getting longer in recent years. The average one-way commute is 27.2 minutes, almost a minute more than in 2009.

Los Angeles traffic photo by Melpomene/Shutterstock.

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