by Broderick Perkins
(12/17/2010) Erate Exclusive - "Consumers grow more bearish on home ownership."
"Sleepy housing market gets nudge in 2011."
"Home ownership rate lowest in more than a decade."
You've seen the headlines.
What you may not have seen through the clouds of doom and gloom are existing pockets of recovery where homes are selling and prices are rising.
Business news website Forbes.com, known for its lists about the rich and famous, recently tapped Zillow.com to turn the radar on housing markets with something to crow about."Those regions where the local job market has been less dependent on housing and construction as an engine for growth have weathered the recession far better because they have maintained a healthier balance in the supply of available homes for sale and the number of potential home buyers," said Nancy Osborne, chief operating officer of Erate.com, a Santa Clara, CA-based financial information publisher and interest rate tracker.
Zillow found cities in major metro areas where home values had appreciated for three consecutive quarters or more, had a healthy rate of home sales and foreclosure rates were lower than the greater metro area.
Zillow.com looked at the largest metro areas to identify the most stable housing markets. It focused on identifying a city in each metro where home values had appreciated for at least three straight quarters, the rate of home sales was healthy and foreclosure rates were lower than the metro area.
They came up with America's 20 Most Stable Housing Markets.
Prices aren't skyrocketing, homes aren't quite selling like hotcakes, but stability is setting in.
One in five of the towns are scattered throughout the Golden State of California and others are largely towns on or near the East Coast and in the Midwest regions.
Here's a look at the top 10.
Bethel Park, PA - Homes here are worth 40 percent more than in the greater Pittsburg metro area and they sell for a median price of $155,100. Prices are up this year 1.2 percent. The annualized percentage of homes sold was 3.1 percent.
Bloomfield Township, MI - Homes in this affluent Detroit suburb, with a median value of $252,900, are worth three times more the metro area and have risen in value 2.3 percent. The annualized percentage of homes sold was 5.1 percent.
Brookline, MA - Host town for three U.S. Opens, Brookline has seen zero foreclosures in the past month. The Boston area town has a median home value of $489,500, up 2.2 percent this year, and a 6 percent annualized percentage of homes sold.
Chino Hills, CA - The median value of homes in this Riverside community came in at $464,600, up 2.1 percent this year. The annualized percentage of home sales was 4.7 percent. Elsewhere in the metro prices rose only 0.6 percent and home prices average $193,300.
Coral Springs, FL - In Miami's otherwise crumbled market, Coral Springs' home values are firm, up 2.8 percent this year to a median $213,800. The annualized percentage of homes sold was 7 percent. High foreclosure rates have pushed home values down elsewhere in the area by 4.5 percent.
Cranston, RI - At the top of the list for home price gains this Providence area town's homes rose in value 3.4 percent to a median of $181,200. The annualized percentage of homes sold was 3.4 percent.
Crofton, MD - Home values are 65 percent higher in the tiny Crofton planned community than they are elsewhere in the Baltimore area. Median value was $381,400, up 1.2 percent this year. The annualized percentage of homes sold was 3.9 percent.
Cupertino, CA - Silicon Valley headquarters of computer giant Apple, Cupertino's median home value was more than $1 million and up 2.3 percent this year. The San Jose metro area towns annualized percentage of homes sold was 6.5 percent.
Edina, MN - Up 2 percent this year, the median home value was $325,900 in this Minneapolis area town and the annualized percentage of homes sold, 4.3 percent.
Gaithersburg, MD With an annualized percentage of homes sold at 5.8 percent, demand has pushed values up 1.3 percent this year to a median home value of $305,900 in this Washington, D.C. area burg.
The rest? Grapevine, TX (Dallas metro)
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