Business 2.0 magazine ranks the top 10 cities for buying property now. Experts say that while these locales may not be immune to the current housing malaise, eventually property values in these places, for a variety of reasons, are likely to zoom.
Here’s the list, along with the projected gain in home prices:
1. Panama City, Fla.: 72 percent projected gain in home prices over five years. A new airport that will be built next year will open the area to vacationers and residents.
2. Vero Beach, Fla.: 64 percent. Demand for housing along with moderate property taxes and beautiful weather will drive growth.
3. Bridgeport, Conn.: 63 percent. Proximity and the staggering home prices in other parts of Fairfield County are making this hardscrabble area appealing to New York City commuters.
4. Lakeland, Fla.: 59 percent. This growing area is only 30 minutes from Tampa via Interstate 4, but prices are 80 percent lower.
5. McAllen, Texas: 57 percent. A Hispanic baby boom and rising incomes are driving demand for bigger homes.
6. San Luis Obispo, Calif.: 40 percent. Compared to southern California, the prices here are low and the developing wine industry adds to the appeal.
7. Wilmington, N.C.: 37 percent. With great golf, mild weather, and its proximity to water, this area is a great retirement community.
8. Manchester, N.H.: 35 percent. This city was the winner of Money Magazine’s best place to live in America. It’s within commuting distance of Boston, but home prices are a fraction, and there’s no income or sales tax.
9. Fort Collins, Colo.: 28 percent. This winner of many best lists has great schools, low crime, and good jobs — plus 40 parks within the city limits.
10. Atlanta, Ga.: 24 percent. Commuting is a bear here and many newcomers to the area are driving up prices in close-in suburbs as the area’s overall economic fortunes continue to rise.
Source: Business 2.0