Cities Where Homes Will Not Sell

5. Reading, Pa.
> Time on market: 147 days
> Change in # of listings: -11.95% (100th largest)
> Median list price: $184,900 (69th)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 771 homes

Reading is in the old industrial section of Pennsylvania, which runs between Allentown and Harrisburg. The city has nearly 90,000 residents and is among the poorest cities in the U.S. median income for the city is only $28,098. Reading topped the list of cities with more than 65,000 people with the highest proportion of residents living in poverty, according to the New York Times, a fact that will continue to hurt Reading’s housing market for the foreseeable future.

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4. Gainesville, Fla.
> Time on market: 150 days
> Change in # of listings: -20.36% (53rd largest)
> Median list price: $164,900 (96th highest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 935 homes

Like many cities in Florida, Gainesville has a large condo market. The Gainesville Sun reported that in August “condo sales were up 13 percent, with 51 sold in August.” That gain was almost certainly due to favorable prices. Condo median prices dropped 13% to $69,400 from $79,500, according to the paper. It may take years for the Gainseville real estate market to recover. It is inland from one of the hardest hit regions in the U.S. — Florida’s Atlantic coast, which includes cities where home prices are down more than the rest of the country.

3. Naples, Fla.
> Time on market: 156 days
> Change in # of listings: -37.83% (6th largest)
> Median list price: $369,000 (12th highest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 356 homes

One out of every 356 homes is foreclosed in Naples, Florida — nearly twice the national average. Last week, Republican Representative Kathleen Passidomo filed the Florida Fair Foreclosure Act. The bill is designed, she says, to streamline the foreclosure process. According to real estate attorney Kevin Jursinski, who was quoted on NBC-2, the problem with Naples foreclosures, is that “It’s the fact that we had an issue with so many foreclosures at one time that so swamped the system that it made it hard for the judges and it taxed the system quite a bit.” In the past year, the median home listing price has increased by more than 23%, the third biggest jump in the country.

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2. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
> Time on market: 161 days
> Change in # of listings: -14.00% (91st largest)
> Median list price: $174,950 (82nd highest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 207 homes

Myrtle Beach sits in Horry County, an area that has more than triple the number of houses for seasonal use than any other county in North Carolina, according to The Sun News. The areas with the highest vacancy rates are along the ocean, where there are many second homes. According to a Realtor quoted in the paper, foreclosures are more common in the oceanfront, vacation properties because homeowners who cannot afford the mortgage are more likely to give up a second home than their primary residence.

1. Wilmington, N.C.
> Time on market: 164 days
> Change in # of listings: -21.31% (48th largest)
> Median list price: $244,250 (36th highest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 4,504 homes

Despite the fairly soft housing market, economists at University of North Carolina Wilmington predict that the local economy is set to recover. Three of Wilmington’s counties are forecast to grow 2.2% next year, ahead of the national forecast of 1.6%. As evidence, the median list price for a home in the city has increased 2.76% in the past year. Wilmington, like Asheville, has an exceptionally low foreclosure rate — just 1 in every 4,504 homes were foreclosed upon in September.

Douglas A. McIntyre, Charles Stockdale, Michael B. Sauter

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