Eileen's Blog

Top 10 turnaround towns for real estate

November 17th, 2011 12:00 PM by Eileen Denhard

Remember when Miami was "Paradise Lost?" If you think you've read that headline more than once in recent decades, you're right.

According to a new data analysis by Realtor.com, Miami is paradise found again, leading the list of the "Top 10 Turnaround Towns" — cities where the real-estate market has done best lately.

Six of the 10 cities on the list are in Florida, which is probably looking pretty good to Northerners about now — especially with real-estate prices lower than they have been in years. Investors, both foreign and domestic, have been buying up bargain-priced Florida properties lately. The percentage of home sales to foreign buyers in Florida is 31% so far this year, compared with 10% in 2007, Realtor.com reports.

Phoenix is also on the list, for similar reasons.

But a few of the turnaround cities may surprise you: Boise City, Idaho; Fort Wayne, Ind.., and Ann Arbor, Mich., join the warm-weather destinations.

"With a 25% reduction in inventory over the past year and time in inventory down to 90 days compared to the national median of 107, Ann Arbor is one of the few markets in the country that is close to becoming a sellers market," Realtor.com wrote about the college town.

Realtor.com looked at data from 146 markets to compile its list of third-quarter turnaround towns. All the towns on the list experienced year-over-year median price appreciation, reduction in age of inventory, reduction in total inventory and lower unemployment form a year ago.

The top 10 turnaround cities, in order, are:

  • Miami
  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla.
  • Phoenix
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
  • Boise City, Idaho
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Ann Arbor, Mich.

You can see the statistics here.

Don't get out the confetti yet.

While inventory is down in those markets, the rate of unemployment remains above 10% in all the Florida cities. The decline in inventory is likely more tied to the foreclosure slowdown caused by the robo-signing crisis, particularly in Florida, which is a judicial foreclosure state. The uptick in sales has come because of investor activity, not an improvement in the local economies.

Posted in:General
Posted by Eileen Denhard on November 17th, 2011 12:00 PM

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