Attention, potential investors and homebuyers: home prices have fallen across the board more than six percent over the past year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which tracks 292 U.S. metropolitan areas. While the Westside has not felt nearly as much pain as other metropolitan areas, there have been some dropping of prices and even a few REO’s and foreclosures in tony areas such as Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Brentwood. If you are a homebuyer or an investor looking for a bargain, it might serve you to look beyond the Westside. If so, check out these top 10 bargain market picks.
Stockton, CA – Inland California cities, such as Riverside and Palm Springs, seem to be most affected by the housing market crumble. Stockton home prices, for instance, have plummeted a whopping 40%. But the good news is that the city’s proximity to San Francisco and Sacramento give it an advantage and will help it rebound in the future.
Naples, FL – Known for its artsy side and the natural wonder of the nearby Everglades, Naples was a vacation destination overrun with real estate investors during boom time. Prices plummeted nearly 33% over the past year, offering new buying opportunities for people looking to move to the beach.
Las Vegas, NV – Eager developers and investors flocked to Sin City looking to cash in big on the real estate boom. The risk didn’t necessarily pay off, as prices have plunged more than 32% since last year. The city is consistently ranked as a top foreclosure market, making it a prime bargain area.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – In spite of its reputation as a spring break party spot, Ft. Lauderdale has redefined itself as a pedestrian-friendly community offering a mix of laid-back neighborhoods with trendy shopping and nightlife. Prices have fallen 26% since last year, giving way to newcomers seeking a lively lifestyle.
Miami, FL – The heat is on in Miami where home values have decreased 24% over the past year. New home buyers in this Florida burg won’t have to shell out as much cash to enjoy tropical weather, beautiful beaches and legendary nightlife year-round.
Napa, CA – Not unlike other vacation destinations, Napa saw a surge in speculative buying that inflated real estate prices. Now buyers can find homes – even multi-million-dollar properties – in beautiful wine country selling for 20% less than last year.
Phoenix, AZ – The Valley of the Sun is teeming with potential bargains, with home prices down 19% year-over-year. Stretched-thin investors in the Phoenix market may be willing to negotiate good deals. Homebuyers who can appreciate this rugged Southwest region can choose from many diverse neighborhoods.
San Diego, CA – Year-round sun, sand and surf make this Southern California destination a real gem. But with home prices down 18% over the past year, great deals are just waiting to be scooped up in this once super-hot market.
Detroit, MI – Recent job-loss-fueled foreclosures have driven home prices down 16% in this Midwestern metropolis. But Detroit is committed to restoration and revitalization and offers a nice mix of historic districts and new developments.
Washington, D.C. – The District of Columbia metro area – which includes nearby commuter cities in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia – should be on the hot list for bargain-seeking homebuyers. The area has a low unemployment rate and boasts unique cultural opportunities. With home prices down 12%, this may be the time to buy in the nation’s capital.