Foreclosure activity in these five metro areas zoomed higher last year at a faster pace than already established foreclosure hotbeds like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. Buyers can find discounts of 30 percent or more as foreclosures flare up in these cities — all of which have solid economic fundamentals and strong upside potential for real estate.
In Boise, bank-owned properties in the low-end price range of under $200,000 are still attracting the most competition from buyers, according to Tonyah Lee, an agent with Keller Williams Realty Boise.
“Now a lot of first time buyers are in the market and they’re looking at everything,” said Lee. “Everybody’s looking for a deal.”
Rising unemployment has especially impacted the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro area, where foreclosure activity in the first half of 2009 increased 66 percent from the first half of 2008, according to RealtyTrac.
“Northwest Arkansas in general appears to have a high rate of foreclosure compared to the rest of the country,” said Judy Luna, an agent with Keller Williams Realty Fayetteville. “Prices went up too high, too fast. Now we have a correction, but not to the degree of California, Florida and Nevada.”
For investors looking to the Pacific Northwest as a retirement destination, Oregon has it all — plus great affordability.
“Investors are buying up these short sales and foreclosures like crazy,” said Sue Pantages, broker with Re/Max Equity Group in Portland. “Nothing’s near the bottom. We probably won’t be done until 2012.”
The housing market in the Seattle area was still on the upswing long after other areas of the country started going sour. Any significant changes to the economic underpinnings of the metro did not take shape until the end of 2008.
“We know that the short sale component of the local resale market has jumped rather substantially,” said Glenn E. Crellin, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area actually encompasses parts of both North Carolina and Virginia and includes the largest Navy base in the world in Norfolk.
“I’m seeing bidding wars in anything under $280,000,” said Virginia Beach-based agent Robert Resh.. “We’re two very different markets. A very different market under $300,000 than it is over $300,000. No question foreclosure activity has picked up.”