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10 cities untouched by the housing bust – finding the silver lining in real estate

Market House sunrise in Fayetteville, NC. Photo by James A. Artis.

Finding the bright spots

In July, TheSlate.com outlined their top 10 cities that were “unaffected” by the down economy, naming Elko, NV in the tenth spot followed by Pittsburgh, Boston, Albany, Dallas, Boulder, Madison, Augusta, Washington D.C., with the number one spot given to Austin.

We added housing data to the top 10 list to see if we could agree with the list and found that most of the housing data was favorable and the list wasn’t far out of line.

This week, CNBC released their “10 cities virtually untouched by the housing bust” with only one city in common with TheSlate’s list and that is Pittsburgh which by various accounts has fared well in a bad economy.

10. Greenville, SC

Change from national peak: -2.1%
Current ZHVI : $126,400
Year-over-year change: -5.10%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 6.7% below.
Foreclosure re-sales: 1% below

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9. Knoxville, TN

Change from national peak: -2.1%
Current ZHVI: $133,600
Year-over-year change: -2.5%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 16.9% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 25.9% below

8. Durham, NC

Change from national peak: +0.5%
Current ZHVI: $170,100
Year-over-year change: -4%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 32% below
Foreclosure re-sales: N/A

7. Rochester, NY

Change from national peak: +0.7%
Current ZHVI: $118,200
Year-over-year change: -2.8%

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Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 50% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 77.6% below

6. Pittsburgh, PA

Change from national peak: +1.1%
Current ZHVI: $110,100
Year-over-year change: +3%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 35.9% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 50.9% below

5. Yakima, WA

Change from national peak: +2.1%
Current ZHVI: $130,100
Year-over-year change: -5.70%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 35.9% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 50.9% below

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4. Little Rock, AR

Change from national peak: +2.6%
Current ZHVI: $123,300
Year-over-year change: -2.70%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 27.5% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 65% below

3. Tulsa, OK

Change from national peak: +6.2%
Current ZHVI: $107,400
Year-over-year change: -7.3%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 42.9% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 87.2% below

2. Oklahoma City, OK

Change from U.S. peak (2006): +9.4%
Current ZHVI: $111,400
Year-over-year change: -4.4%

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Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 30.9% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 85.9% below

1. Fayetteville, NC

Change from U.S. peak (2006): +11.6%
Current ZHVI: $113,600
Year-over-year change: -2.8%

Comparison to National Average
Underwater mortgages: 27.8% below
Foreclosure re-sales: 46.3% below

The takeaway

Finding the silver lining in a struggling sector is difficult, but there are still areas that are performing well. Oklahoma and the Carolinas appear to be faring well with several hot spots, and in every city there are areas of strength, even in the worst market. No one has a crystal ball to see in the future, but looking at the present scene reveals there is actually a silver lining.

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76 Comments

76 Comments

  1. Manhattan Beach Agent

    August 3, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Goes to show that even in the toughest times there's always opportunity to be had!

  2. Joe Loomer

    August 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Augusta where? Maine? Certainly isn't Augusta, Georgia, where values are down over 15% and continuing to erode.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Steve Nicewarner

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I'm not surprised the two lists are different. All of the cities in the Slate list are major metropolitan areas, but most of the ones in the CNBC list are smaller cities and towns.

    One thing I would like to see is how much each of these cities gained during the boom. I'd bet that most of these places did not see anything like the massive gains that Las Vegas/Phoenix/So Cal had. They are surviving the bust because their markets never got out of whack in the first place. I know this is true for my hometown, Durham, NC.

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