5. Wichita, Kan.
> Price per sq. ft.: $69.04
> Median list price: $129,900 (11th lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,882 (29th highest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 96th
The median square footage of a listed Wichita property is 1,882, the 29th largest in the country. The median list price, however, is just $129,900, the 11th-lowest price in the U.S. During the recession, home values dropped just 2%, one of the smallest declines in the country. The unemployment rate in the region is 7.7%, well below the national average. Nevertheless, property remains extremely cheap in the region. There has been some interest in Wichita real estate. It ranks in the middle of Realtor.com’s measure of the most searched-for real estate markets, and home prices climbed by more than 3% between February 2011 and February 2012.
4. Indianapolis, Ind.
> Price per sq. ft.: $68.56
> Median list price: $133,000 (13th lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,940 (21st highest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 55th
Properties in the Indianapolis metropolitan region are among the largest in the country at a median 1,940 square feet. However, the median listing price in the area, according to Realtor.com, is just $133,000, the 13th lowest in the U.S. These low costs, along with better-than-average unemployment, have led to some increased interest in the city’s real estate. Median list prices climbed 6.4% in the past recorded year, and inventory fell by more than 18% over the same period.
3. Toledo, Ohio
> Price per sq. ft.: $67.02
> Median list price: $100,000 (3rd lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,488 (13th lowest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 117th
Like Dayton, Toledo was once one of America’s largest industrial centers and has fallen on hard times in the past several decades. Poverty and unemployment are both extremely high in the region. Median income is the 14th lowest among the cities on our list. Median property listings are just $100,000 in the region, according to Realtor.com. This is the third-lowest price in the country, amounting to $67.02 per square foot. Nevertheless, there has not been much interest in Toledo property, as it ranks 117th out of 146 on Realtor.com’s most-searched-for list. Median list prices fell by 4.31% between January and February of this year, the second-biggest decline among the regions examined.
2. Fort Wayne, Ind.
> Price per sq. ft.: $66.03
> Median list price: $104,900 (4th lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,580 (24th lowest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 76th
Property costs, according to Realtor.com, are the second-lowest in the country in Fort Wayne at $66.03 per square foot. Prices, however, have begun to recover in the region. Between February 2011 and February 2012, the median list price increased by more than 5%. However, in the past recorded month, property values fell by 2.78%, the fourth-worst decline in the country among the 146 regions studied.
1. Detroit, Mich.
> Price per sq. ft.: $62.45
> Median list price: $84,900 (the lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,360 (5th lowest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 2nd
Detroit was one of the hardest-hit cities by the recession. The city had already been undergoing several decades of severe economic drought. Home prices still fell by 54.9% from their prerecession peak. The city’s unemployment rate has declined in the past year, but it remains in the double-digit range and is still among the worst among major U.S. cities. Apparently, however, speculators see a silver lining in the Motor City, or at the very least, a bottom in the housing market. In February, only one city (Chicago) among the 146 measured by Realtor.com, had more searches for property than Detroit. This may have something to do with the fact that the median list price in the region was just $84,900 in February, or $13,600 less than the next-highest city.