U.S. Wealth Split Community by Community

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (UPI) --
A study of wealth shows half the housing value in the country is concentrated in just 10 percent of U.S. cities, the Conference Board said.



The study produced by The Demand Institute, a think tank jointly run by The Conference Board and Nielsen, shows "a startling contrast in economic prosperity between successful and struggling American communities," the Conference Board said.



Like the widening gap between the rich and the poor on an individual level, communities are also reflecting the disparity between the haves and the have nots.



Of 2,200 communities analyzed, the think tank said 52 percent of the value of owner-occupied homes, a value of about $4.4 trillion, was concentrated in 10 percent of the communities studied.



The study released Wednesday said of the 2,200 communities, the bottom 40 percent included just 8 percent of the total value of homes or about $700 billion.



"The strength of the local housing market is among the most telling metrics that helps us assess community health and well being. The home is often a family's single most valuable and visible economic asset, and the housing in a community is a very reliable gauge of its prosperity," the Conference Board said.



The report divided the country into nine community profiles. The most successful is the "Affluent Metroburbs." The least successful was tagged "Endangered Communities."



Half the U.S. communities are "struggling to find their way after the Great Recession," the study found.



The study called "A Tale of 2000 Cities," found that quickly climbing home prices were "not indicative of future trends," as the prices in those communities were largely driven by institutional buyers who are in the market to make a quick profit or to turn a single-family home into a rental property.



The think tank predicted home price increases will slow down in the next five years and "grow at a much slower rate."



The median prices for already built single-family homes is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent from 2015 to 2018 with supply and demand growing at similar rates.




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