New Rules of Real Estate 2007

How to play the real estate bounce-back

The housing market may be melting down, but Business 2.0 worked with Moody's Economy.com to identify 10 cities that have just about hit rock bottom - and offer opportunities for savvy investors to get in while the getting's good.

St. Louis
St. Louis
Projected median sales prices for single-family homes:

Q1 2008: $143,920
Q4 2009: $149,710
Growth rate: 4.0 percent

St. Louis's annual per capita income of $36,000 matches the national average, and the metro's economic growth rate closely tracks that of the overall U.S. gross domestic product. Its workforce is light on the kind of high-skilled techies that have made places like Silicon Valley and Raleigh-Durham boom - but then again, the middle of the road is a good place to be during a national housing meltdown. The boom-and-bust fluctuations in hot markets were only felt as ripples here.

Craig Heller, a local developer who owns a company called Loftworks has placed his bets on converting historic buildings and warehouses in the urban core into condos, selling the units at an average of $275,000 a pop. He expects downtown loft prices to increase substantially this decade, thanks to reverse migration from the suburbs.

At the same time, a different brand of gentrification is starting to emerge in outlying towns that have been absorbed by St. Louis's sprawl. Speculators are buying traditional country homes at a discount in enclaves like Glendale, Kirkwood, Sunset Hills, and Webster Groves. They then tear them down and put up McMansions that list for multiples of the property's original sales price.

Dallas-Fort Worth

Indianapolis

New Orleans

Atlanta

Montgomery

Memphis

Mobile

Austin

Houston

St. Louis
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Where homes are affordable Residents who buy real estate in these 25 towns see their incomes go the furthest. (more)
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.