Sunday, December 02, 2007

Why is housing in some cities still booming?

Real Estate: Last of the red-hot marketsWhy is housing in some cities still booming?
The answers may help you navigate your own market.

By Joe Light, Money Magazine staff reporterDecember 2 2007: 10:21 AM ESTNEW YORK (Money Magazine) --

When Elisabeth and Tom Merrill decided to sell their home in Wenatchee, Wash. (pop. 107,000), they braced themselves for a long slog.The couple and their four kids were bursting out of their 2,400-square-foot house, but they had read about the nation's slow-as-sludge real estate market and expected the worst.But their house sold in 10 hours for $387,000, 80% more than they paid six years ago. .

"I was thrilled," says Elisabeth. "I can't believe how fast it happened."While housing prices increased only 3.2% nationally in the year ended June 2007, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), a government regulator, prices in Wenatchee shot up 24%, partly because a recent influx of retirees boosted demand for housing.Wenatchee is not the only hot spot bucking the national trend. Markets in the Pacific Northwest, Utah and Colorado still boast annual...

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