America’s Fastest-Growing Housing Markets

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4. Coeur d’Alene, ID
> Expected price increase: 3.8%
> Unemployment rate: 8.9%
> Change in home prices (2010Q4-2011Q4): -4.5%

Coeur d’Alene, located in northern Idaho, is one of the smallest and most remote metropolitan area in the country, with a population of just over 140,000 residents. It is, however, located next to the much larger Spokane, Washington, across the state border. Home prices in the region fell 27.1% during the recession from their peak in the third quarter of 2007. In the past three years alone, prices fell more than 8% each year. The area is projected to experience a substantial housing recovery over the next half-decade. Between the end of 2011 and the end of 2016, Fiserv estimates home prices will increase 4.5% each year.

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3. Medford, OR
> Expected price increase: 4.2%
> Unemployment rate: 10.8%
> Change in home prices (2010Q4-2011Q4): -6.6%

Medford, OR, is a relatively poor metropolitan area, with a median family income of $49,700 — compared to the national median income of $63,000. The drop in home prices — a decrease of 37.1% since 2006 — has therefore been all the more painful on residents. Fortunately, home prices are projected to increase 4.2% in the next year. In the year after that prices are expected to increase another 15.3% — the third-largest increase in the country.

2. Glens Falls, NY
> Expected price increase: 4.2%
> Unemployment rate: 7.5%
> Change in home prices (2010Q4-2011Q4): -2.4%

Home prices in Glens Falls, NY, declined only moderately during the housing crisis. Homes lost 7% of their value from their peak, much lower compared to a 34.2% average decline nationwide. Still, the 2.4% drop per year between the end of 2008 and 2011 was apparently enough for investors to identify the region as a potential investment. The regional economy remains stable, with an unemployment rate of 7.5%, well below the national average. Fiserv projects home prices in the area to increase 4.2% by the end of this year and increase an average of 7.2% per year by the end of 2016.

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1. Madera-Chowchilla, CA
> Expected price increase: 4.3%
> Unemployment rate: 14.4%
> Change in home prices (2010Q4-2011Q4): -10.0%

Home prices in the Madera-Chowchilla metropolitan area are projected to increase 4.3% from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012. The following year, prices are expected to increase another 16.5% — the highest rate in the U.S. However, these improvements come after the region experienced among the worst effects of the housing crash. From the time Madera’s home prices peaked in the third quarter of 2006 to the fourth quarter of 2011, they dropped 53.1%. This is one of the largest drops in the country.

-By Charles B. Stockdale, Michael B. Sauter