By Jim Droz
A smattering of cities has managed to buck the sluggish housing trend by seeing modest gains in home values over the past several months. Those cities were highlighted by Forbes Magazine in its list of recession-resistant cities. The compilation reflects the 25 cities welcoming steady home price gains since the start of 2011.
Despite a 9.9 percent unemployment rate, Bay City, Mich., tops the list with seven consecutive months of rising home values. The median home price in the Great Lakes Bay area city is $80,100.
Bay City isn’t the only small- to mid-sized metropolis with a hopeful housing market. It’s joined by fellow Michigan city, Battle Creek, with a 0.6 percent price gain in the first quarter and a 5.2 percent gain in the second; Pueblo, Colo., with a 2.5 percent price gain in the first quarter and a 5.5 percent price gain in the second; and Champaign-Urbana, Ill., with a 0.5 percent rise in the first quarter and a 1.2 percent rise in the second.
One of the surprising results on the list is Florida, one of the states to suffer most from the real estate boom and bust, which has six cities on the list, led by Fort Myers, which had a 2.9 percent appreciation rate in the first quarter and a 3.7 percent rate during the second.
Municipalities where housing bubbles never arose in the first place also continue to fare well. Housing prices in cities such as Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Boulder, Colo., and Durham, N.C., have come off less than 7 percent from the 2006 real estate peak.