Areas that were once economic strongholds and centers of development may be held back from recovering alongside the rest of the nation by their accumulated debt, causing a permanent shift in which markets lead, rather than a temporary trend.
While early 2012 appears to be showing signs of some acceleration in recovery, the New York Times notes that some researchers have found areas which were most involved in the housing boom may be lagging behind the national recovery rate. In these regions, economic activities such as auto sales are climbing more slowly. Jobs that depend on local spending seem to be affected more strongly than others, the news source reports.
Finance professor Amir Sufi at the University of Chicago told the news source that areas which experience the most profound effects of a recession are usually among those which make the strongest comebacks afterward, suggesting this may be abnormal. These areas are largely concentrated along the coasts, because of the impact limited land availability had on home prices. If the pace of recovery is off in these markets, rental management firms and investors may see fewer opportunities than they might otherwise expect in certain parts of the country.
Other experts disagree, the news source notes, suggesting that the rate of recovery is actually similar in these hard-hit areas. It may be difficult to observe because they have experienced stronger effects in absolute terms.