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Best & Worst Cities for Recession Recovery

Downtown Austin

Who Lands Where? has speculated ten cities poised for recovery and names the ten cities that will struggle the longest. What is interesting to note is the clusters of recoverable areas and the clusters of areas that may continue to struggle. Texas makes up 40% of the Top 10 while California makes up 50% of the Bottom 10.

Ten Best Cities Best Poised for Recovery

Other than Seattle and D.C./Arlington/Alexandria, all of the Top 10 is made up of southern/southwestern states. It is notable that examining Texas as the driving force for a recovery, the economy is diverse and there was never a real estate bubble.

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Fayetteville, AR
  3. Boulder, CO
  4. Huntsville, AL
  5. San Antonio, TX
  6. Mobile, AL
  7. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  8. Washington D.C./Arlington/Alexandria
  9. McAllen, TX
  10. Seattle, WA

Ten Cities Whose Road to Recovery May be Long

Forbes notes that many cities on the list below had economies focused on real estate and when the bubble popped, so did the local economies. Other cities are hurt by unemployment and a shift of commerce out of the city. Either way, these ten cities are projected to have the longest road to recovery:

  1. Flint, MI
  2. Fresno, CA
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Modesto, CA
  5. Salinas, CA
  6. Bakersfield, CA
  7. New York/ N. Jersey/ Long Island
  8. Stockton, CA
  9. Youngstown, OH
  10. Los Angeles/ Long Beach, CA

Is your city on either list? Why do you think that is and what do you think the road ahead holds for you?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Jason Sandquist

    June 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I would have put Minneapolis at the top of the list if I wrote the article 😉

  2. Linsey

    June 16, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I suspect that OC will be comparable to LA numbers. Not surprisingly, we will likely take awhile to recover. We had rapid and sizable appreciation. The economy can improve, the housing market can improve, but we have years to come with many homeowners that will be forced to sell in negative equity circumstances. The pricing freefall has happened, but recovering lost equity, appreciation, housing growth again – it’s gonna be a while.

  3. Ben Roberts | EXIT Real Estate 540

    June 16, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Go Northwest Arkansas! (That’s Fayetteville for the geographically challenged)
    I like your observation about there never being a real estate bubble in Texas or most of the areas listed in the top ten as far as I know. I think the better term for it would be ‘price swell’ for Northwest Arkansas. I keep a detailed monthly market report if anyone is interested in what prices actually did in our area.

    Now the question is, “How can we get some of those poor cities out of the bottom 10?”

  4. Louise Scoggins

    June 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I live in Atlanta which thankfully did not make the long road list. We also did not see massive appreciations in Real Estate values, but definitely experienced a “swell” as Ben put it. While it’s still a buyer’s market here — we are overloaded with foreclosures and new construction — values in Metro Atlanta are only down around 10%, which fairs well in comparison to other parts of the country.

    Thanks for posting, this was an interesting read!

  5. Brad Officer

    June 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Florida cities are always making these list. Glad to see we didn’t make the bottom list this time!

  6. Ben Goheen

    June 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I think Jason means that Minneapolis would be on the long road to recovery, but more so in specific areas. A home I appraised last month saw a 75% decline in value from 4 years ago, which is not uncommon for properties in that area. Some folks have a long road ahead of them.

  7. Cal Carter

    June 17, 2009 at 12:56 am

    We are happy to have our office situated in Fairhope, right across the bay from Mobile.

  8. Ruthmarie Hicks

    June 17, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Hi Lanni,

    Thanks for the article and the link. I’m a bit curious as to whether the housing affordability index for NY included cooperatives – which is the most common entry into the housing market for those living NYC and Westchester. Since they are not considered to be “real property” I rather doubt it. But the omission could skew the affordability index way off the map. In the article it claims that only 14% of the housing stock in the White Plains, Wayne, NYC area is affordable. I would be very surprised if that number reflected this alternative form of housing which is very unique to the area in that it dominates the entry level market.

    Having said that, NY has not hit bottom, however, the steep slide has stopped and prices are stabilizing.

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