By ELISABETH LEAMY
Good Morning America
See original article here
Home values have fallen 26 percent since the market’s peak in 2006 — and as much as 50 percent in some areas. But if you have good credit and plan to buy a home and live there for at least 5 years, it can be a great time to bag a real estate bargain.
So Good Morning America partnered with real estate web site Zillow.com to figure out the top 10 places to buy in 2011.
Zillow looked at four factors to determine the top 10.
Affordability: How many years of income does the median home cost? If the median home costs 2.5 years of salary that area gets a better rank than a city where a home costs 4.5 years of salary.
Unemployment: Zillow looked at areas with low unemployment, using that as a gauge of the health and stability of the local economy. Zillow also looked at the change in unemployment over the past year. This is used as a proxy for the “direction” that a local economy is moving. A city where the unemployment rate dropped 2 percent in the past year will rank better than a city that’s had no change.
Foreclosures: Zillow also analyzed the percentage of homes in each marketplace that have fallen into foreclosure in the past 12 months. Of course, lower is better because it suggests that the local real estate market is healthier.
Price Increases: Zillow looked at areas that have seen an increase in home values over the past quarter and the past year.
Here are the Top 10 Best Places to Buy in 2011 after analyzing those four factors:
- Utica, N.Y.
- Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Rochester, N.Y.
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Tulsa, Okla.
- Albany, N.Y.
- Lancaster, Pa.
- Madison, Wis.
- Green Bay, Wis.
- Lincoln, Neb.
10. Lincoln, Neb.
Lincoln has the lowest unemployment rate out of the 124 cities Zillow looked at — just 4 percent. And Lincoln houses are very affordable in relation to Lincoln incomes, with a median home value of $134,600.
Click here to search for Lincoln homes for sale.