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10 Best Real Estate Markets to Invest In Now – Hardest Hit by the Recession

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It’s well known that some cities weather tough economic times better than others (Hello, Detroit? Are you still standing?). A recent Standard and Poor survey revealed that housing prices nationwide have fallen to their lowest levels since the beginning of the great recession.

If you’re a homeowner, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you. Many American homeowners find themselves upside down on their mortgage loans, owing more than they could sell the home for in the current marketplace.

But if you don’t own a home, now might be a great time to buy real estate – especially if you live in one of the following cities, where the real estate markets have been hit the hardest.

1. Cape Coral – Fort Myers, Florida

The Cape Coral – Fort Myers area, on the Gulf Coast of Florida experienced the single largest decline in home values since the beginning of the recession. Home values in Cape Coral and Fort Myers have fallen 59.1% to a current median price of $87,300.

cape coral

2. Saginaw – Saginaw Township North, Michigan

Located near Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Saginaw Township area of Michigan was the number two hardest hit area in the United States in terms of real estate values, with an estimated decline of 53.7% since 2008. A single family home in Saginaw Township currently costs an average of $30,300.

saginaw michigan

3. Akron, Ohio

Families and residents of Akron have seen their home values plunge 48% to approximately $50,100 for a single family home.

akron oh skyline

4. San Francisco, California

The prices in San Francisco were so high to start with, that for most of us, the cost of purchasing a home within the city of San Francisco will remain a dream. But if you have the cash on hand, you can snap up a 42% discount on real estate, which makes the average cost of a single family home in San Francisco ring in at around $402,000.

san francisco

5. San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, California

Perhaps because the cost of housing in the golden state was so high to start with, home values in Southern California have suffered significantly during the economic downturn. Homeowners in the San Jose area have seen the value of their houses fall approximately 42% from 2008 highs. Before you get too excited about the prospects of buying a California dream-house, however, you better get saving; a house in the San Jose area still costs an average of $450,000.

san jose

6. Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale, Arizona

The speculative bubble that had driven home costs in the area to exorbitant new highs during the early 2000’s came crashing down a few years ago. Homes in the metropolitan areas of Arizona, especially Phoenix, fell in value by around 41% to an average of $129,000.

phoenix az

7. Sarasota – Bradenton – Venice, Florida

Located near the extremely popular Tampa/St. Petersburg region on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the Sarasota area has been hit pretty hard with an average real estate value drop of 40%, and a resulting median home value of $155,200.

sarasota fl

8. Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario, California

The Riverside area in California, like much of the California market has witnessed a huge drop in home values to the tune of 39%, which resulted in the median home value in the area falling to around $172,000.

riverside ca

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City got slammed during the recession. The glitz and glamour of the strip couldn’t protect the citizens of Vegas from witnessing the values of their property fall by around 37%. A home in the Las Vegas area in the wake of the recession will set you back around $155,300.

las vegas

10. Miami, Florida

The real estate market in and around South Florida was hit pretty hard by the precipitous drop in nationwide real estate values, and with a 35% average drop in value in the Miami area, now might be just the time for sun worshippers to purchase a home in the sunshine state. A single family home in Miami will currently cost you around $206,000.

miami

Final Word

Sure, real estate prices have come down, but the fact is, in most places they were too high to start with. If you’re in the market for a home, now’s the time to take advantage of the excellent discounts relative to a few years ago.

But with all the deals out there, you still need to be smart in your decision. Read up on these factors to consider before investing in real estate, check out an analysis of the renting vs buying a house debate, and do your best to avoid common home buying mistakes. As always, with a decision this big, it is imperative to consider all of the factors before taking the plunge and becoming a homeowner.

Are you considering buying a home now that real estate prices are relatively low? What areas are you looking at?

Pat S
Pat S is an active duty military officer. On his off time he enjoys working out, reading, writing and spending time with his dog. Pat became interested in personal finance after several costly mistakes early in his military career that could have been avoided by a basic understanding of personal finance.

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