Best Cities for a Housing Recovery

by Matthew Woolsey
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
provided byForbes

Increased transactions and relatively low foreclosure resales spell good news for these markets.

The stock market is up 50% from its lows in March, and consumer spending increased in May, June and July. But when will housing turn around?

Even the wisest can’t answer that, and experts caution against putting too much hope in rising home prices given the country’s unemployment situation and high rate of mortgage defaults. But key measures indicate that some metros are more on their way to recovery than others.

Take Miami. Sales are up 27% over last year and only 3.5% of those are the result of foreclosure resales. In Lincoln, Neb., where sales are 15% higher this year than last, only 3.6% of them involved bank-owned properties Both top our list of markets on their way to health

Behind the Numbers


In compiling our list, Forbes looked at 161 of the country’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (or metros)–geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics–where sales activity had picked up over the last year, but where foreclosure sales, as a percentage of overall sales were the lowest. Our data came from, an online housing data firm based in Seattle, Wash. Our list doesn’t profess to call the turnaround, but rather point out which cities are in the lead on the road to recovery.

To be sure, the national real estate picture remains grim. In Las Vegas and Madera, Calif., for example, respective sales are up 40% and 64% from a year ago. But 67% and 71% of those respective sales are from foreclosure resales.

Click here for the full list of Best Cities for a Housing Recovery



1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Foreclosure resales: 3.5% of transactions
Sales activity (year-over-year): up 27%





2. Lincoln, Neb.

Foreclosure resales: 3.6% of transactions
Sales activity (year-over-year): up 15%






3. Colorado Springs, Colo.

Foreclosure resales: 20% of transactions
Sales activity (year-over-year): up 14%






4. Salem, Ore.

Foreclosure resales: 14% of transactions
Sales activity (year-over-year): up 3%






5. San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Foreclosure resales: 20% of transactions
Sales activity (year-over-year): up 20%

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