CNN/Money’s Business 2.0 has several top 10 city ranking features that are kind of fun to read about. I can’t figure out why we would be curious about a top ten list. After reading a feature like the top ten places to live, do we pack up and move there? Do we call our parents and thank them or give them a hard time for making it our home? Or is it more reassurance that we are living in the right place or simply affirmation that we made a terrible error?

Top 10 cities: Where to buy now
The real estate slump could get worse before it gets better. But these 10 markets offer great opportunities for those who have the patience to buy and hold.

  1. Panama City, FL
  2. Vero Beach, FL
  3. Bridgeport, CT
  4. Lakeland, FL
  5. McAllen, TX
  6. San Luis Obispo, CA
  7. Wilmington, NC
  8. Manchester, NH
  9. Fort Collins, CO
  10. Atlanta, GA

Comment: I don’t see how Florida would have 3 of the top 4 cities to invest in with all the indicators of overheating.

Where not to buy
_These 10 overvalued cities have run their course, and home prices are expected to drop over the next year._

  1. Stockton, CA
  2. Merced, CA
  3. Reno/Sparks, NV
  4. Fresno, CA
  5. Vallejo/Fairfield, CA
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. Bakersfield, CA
  8. Sacramento, CA
  9. Washington, DC
  10. Tucson, AZ

Comment: Six locations in California made the grade and the rest have reputations for high investor concentrations.

Bubble-proof markets
_Short-term price drops are possible. But healthy economies and rising incomes will support these “superstar cities” over the long run._

  1. Boston
  2. San Francisco
  3. New York
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Seattle

Comment: With the inventory overhang in Boston and LA, I am not sure why they make the grade. The rest seem reasonable choices relative to the remainder of the country. San Fran, New York and Seattle are characterized by low speculation and solid economies. Missing 6-10.

Top 10 foreclosure markets
_Where the action is – highest portion of households in foreclosure, from RealtyTrac._

  1. Greeley, CO
  2. Detroit, MI
  3. Miami, FL
  4. Indianapolis, IN
  5. Ft Lauderdale, FL
  6. Denver, CO
  7. Dayton, OH
  8. Dallas, TX
  9. Fort Worth, TX
  10. Atlanta, GA

Comment: With the exception of Florida and Georgia, all locations are not located near the coasts. The Midwest is seeing the auto industry struggle which is affecting employment. These Florida markets have heavy investor concentrations.


5 Responses to “Top 10 Clipboard: Cities To Love, Hate, Invest, Avoid”

  1. MarkB says:

    A quick comment on Boston’s inventory “overhang.” We spend quite a bit of time tracking mid- to large-sized development projects (over 20 units per development) and we differentiate b/w “planned”, “approved”, “in process”, and “complete/on market”. While our tracking is not definitive, we believe it reasonably reflects the status of housing development in Metro Boston. A significant chunk of the overhang is comprised of “planned” and “approved” projects, as noted on the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s website and other sources. However, many of these projects are not financed and will not proceed. As such, the inventory “bubble” is not as big as it might appear. With the recent retreat/flattening in sales prices, some of these planned and/or approved projects will fall apart as their economics were contingent on higher sales, faster sales velocity, etc. Others may come on line once senior debt amd mezz. feel comfortable with the market conditions.

  2. DC in LBV says:

    I saw that top ten list and just laughed. As a longtime resident of the Lakeland MSA, I can absolutely say it will never see a 59% increase over the next 10 years in addition to the 110% increase over the last 5 years. A $282k median house may not been much in most places, but this is a rural, agricultural areas with little professional work. Only 10% of the population is college educated, and only 65% even has a high school diploma. Costs in Lakeland have already risen enough so that commuting to Orlando or Tampa is no cheaper than living in those cities (and I have commuted to Orlando for the past decade). I could write up at least 2 dozen socioeconomic reasons why this won’t happen, other than realtor hype and speculation, I wonder what hard data CNN/Money used?

    Also, How Does Atlanta get on the top foreclosure list and top growth list? That alone kind of kills their credibility.

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