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New housing on the northern edges of Las Vegas Cameron Davidson—Getty Images

10 Cities Where the Housing Crash Still Looms Largest

May 05, 2017

In 2003, as real estate prices were starting to go through the roof, Greg Merrill and his wife bought a 1,900-square foot, four-bedroom home with vaulted ceilings on a quiet cul-de-sac in Yucaipa, Calif., for nearly $240,000. Then came the real estate crash, and within a few years their home's value dropped to $225,000.

The Merrills were among the fortunate few who could afford to wait it out. "We didn't plan on flipping the house. So it was just a matter of keep on, keepin' on," says Greg, an elementary school teacher who works in nearby San Bernardino. A decade later, the Merrills' home is estimated to be worth more than $350,000.

Alas, the vast majority of their neighbors haven't been quite so lucky.

Ten years after the mortgage meltdown, only 3.4% of the homes in the Riverside/San Bernardino market have recovered to their pre-housing crisis peaks, according to a report by Trulia. The average home in this metro area costs about $323,000 — roughly 20% below pre-2007 levels.

Sadly, San Bernardino isn't unique. Much of the country still hasn't recovered fully despite several years of a real estate "recovery."

While it's true that national home prices have rebounded on average and are hitting new highs in this economic recovery, only 34% of houses in the U.S. have actually come all the way back, according to Trulia.

"The big surprise is if you're using broad measures to gauge the housing recovery, they're not that good for measuring how well the individual markets have done," says Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin. "By looking at other measures you might think that most homes have recovered, instead of only a third."

Trulia compared current home values to pre-recession highs in the nation's 100 biggest metro areas. The markets that have fared the absolute best — like Denver, where almost 99% of homes are above their pre-crisis prices — are enjoying double-digit income and job growth.

The worst 10 markets, listed below, have either struggled economically or had to dig out of a really deep hole — or both.

The BOTTOM 10 MARKETS

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New housing on the northern edges of Las VegasCameron Davidson—Getty Images

Las Vegas

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 0.6%

Current home value: $214,630

Pre-recession peak home value: $306,028

Post-recession income growth: -5.2%

Post-recession job growth: 18.4%

Post-recession population growth: 11.2%

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Aerial view of downtown Tucson and the Tucson area with a Saguaro Cactus in the foreground and the Santa Catalina Mountains in the background, during summertime.Getty Images—iStockphoto

Tucson, Ariz.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.4%

Current home value: $179,194

Pre-recession peak home value: $236,236

Post-recession income growth: 4.8%

Post-recession job growth: 2.2%

Post-recession population growth: 4.2%

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Rooftops of family homes near FresnoRolf Schulten/ullstein bild—Getty Images

Fresno, Calif.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.5%

Current home value: $217,818

Pre-recession peak home value: $295, 518

Post-recession income growth: 5.1%

Post-recession job growth: 10.8%

Post-recession population growth: 6.3%

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The Ben Franklin Bridge crossing over the Delaware River between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey.Getty Images—iStockphoto

Camden, N.J.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.7%

Current home value: $195,813

Pre-recession peak home value: $244,536

Post-recession income growth: 6.4%

Post-recession job growth: 0.5%

Post-recession population growth: 0.3%

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Kenosha harbor and light houseJim Bushelle—Getty Images

Lake County-Kenosha County, Ill. & Wis.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.7%

Current home value: $215,616

Pre-recession peak home value: $260,850

Post-recession income growth: 10.2%

Post-recession job growth: 9.8%

Post-recession population growth: 0.5%

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Aerial view of Fort Lauderdale's skyline, intracoastal waterways and surrounding waterfront homesJillian Cain—Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.7%

Current home value: $227,425

Pre-recession peak home value: $295,100

Post-recession income growth: 9.4%

Post-recession job growth: 9.9%

Post-recession population growth: 10.2%

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Wind turbines line the hillsides outside Bakersfield, California.Getty Images—Spondylolithesis

Bakersfield, Calif.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.9%

Current home value: $191,435

Pre-recession peak home value: $276,213

Post-recession income growth: 12.8%

Post-recession job growth: 13.1%

Post-recession population growth: 6.6%

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Rows of condominiums along the Daytone Beach Shores Florida coastline cast reflections in the waters edge on a sunny day.Deborah Maxemow—Getty Images

Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 2.9%

Current home value: $176,654

Pre-recession peak home value: $238,423

Post-recession income growth: -1.7%

Post-recession job growth: 11.5%

Post-recession population growth: 8.2%

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Fair Haven is a neighborhood in the eastern part of the city of New Haven, Connecticut, between the Mill and Quinnipiac rivers.Denis TangneyJr—Getty Images/iStockphoto

New Haven, Conn.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 3.2%

Current home value: $221,160

Pre-recession peak home value: $282,632

Post-recession income growth: 3.6%

Post-recession job growth: 5.2%

Post-recession population growth: -0.4%

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Many cookie cutter homes show the overwhelming San Bernardino County growth as seen from North bound 15pastorscott—Getty Images/iStockphoto

Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.

Percentage of homes back at pre-recession levels: 3.4%

Current home value: $323,180

Pre-recession peak home value: $405,413

Post-recession income growth: 4%

Post-recession job growth: 22.9%

Post-recession population growth: 8.8%

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