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Low-end properties hit hardest by recession

Low-end homes were hit the hardest by the recent recession.

Low-end homes were hit the hardest by the recent recession.

Recent information has shown that, while many sectors of the real estate industry were affected by the recession during the last several years, low-end homes might have been hit the hardest.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University conducted a report to analyze the national breakdown for high- and low-end homes. Overall, high-end homes reached their peak price in 2006, and have declined 38 percent since then. Low-end homes, however, peaked in 2007, and have fallen 63 percent since.

The Joint Center's report discovered that this discrepancy is even greater in the country's larger cities. In Atlanta, high-end home prices declined by 23 percent between their 2007 peak and December 2010. Low-end prices, however, fell even further, moving down by 50 percent. In San Francisco, top-tier homes were down 24 percent from their peak, while low-end properties fell 54 percent.

The fluctuations have reduced the home values in the process. In Atlanta, low-end home prices now average below $122,500, while high-end properties begin at just above $221,600. In San Francisco, this range is $312,546 and $573,577, according to information compiled by Standard & Poor's.

One researcher for the Joint Center explained that low-end homes appreciated the most before the recession, and now have plummeted since then as a result.