Pandemic Recovery Marked by Dramatic Regional Disparities

The U.S. economy is emerging from the pandemic, with improving conditions in 44 of the top 50 metropolitan areas, but significant disparities among regions, according to a newly released, interactive Current Momentum Heat Map developed by SitusAMC Insights.

Preview of SitusAMC CRE Heat Map
Click the preview above to explore our interactive Heat Map 

The Heat Map gauges metro economic conditions and the near-term growth forecast for the top 50 U.S. metros, using a variety of analytics based on employment, unemployment, and income. The quarterly Heat Maps provide a visualization of the current conditions and outlooks for market economies and property segments. The visualization helps discern market-specific conditions, regional and market size variations, and the direction of momentum.

“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we see dramatic disparities in current and expected growth by region,” said Peter Muoio, Ph.D., Senior Director of SitusAMC Insights.

Viewed by the regional blocks, there are clear distinctions among the much greener tone of the Southwest and Southeast – indicating stronger current and expected growth – and the light pink tone of the West – demonstrating a good but not yet robust current and near-term growth outlook. The red tones across the Northeast and much of the Midwest underscore slower improvement in conditions in those parts of the country.

The Heat Map also shows that smaller markets are doing better than the larger metros in the same region.

With the exception of Atlanta, the largest metros in each region have a worse score than their smaller market counterparts. The Midwest is particularly notable because it is fairly mottled, but the bigger Midwest markets – including Chicago and Detroit -- are red while several smaller markets in the region are pink, and Indianapolis is green. Los Angeles, by far the largest western market, is showing weakness, with its 5 rating and red color. In the Southwest, Houston is the only market with a rating worse than 3.

Finally, the arrows tell the story of the beginning of emergence from the pandemic. “All but six of the 50 metros show a rising arrow, indicating that conditions have started to improve and the outlook is better than last quarter,” Muoio said. The six markets that have not seen significant momentum yet include Austin, Baltimore,  Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.


To learn more about SitusAMC’s research and data offerings, contact Peter Muoio, Senior Director of SitusAMC Insights at

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