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The changing industrial economy has deprived Dayton of some of its once-powerful job creators. Key employers either faded away or relocated, like the old National Cash Register, now NCR, which moved to Georgia in 2009. But companies in a number of modern industries -- specializing in aerospace and health care -- have taken up the slack. At 6.9%, the area's unemployment rate is well below the national average.
Meanwhile, population in the metro area is growing again after years of shrinking -- the city lost more than 10% of its residents between 2000 and 2010, according to the Census Bureau.
All that outmigration kept demand -- and prices -- for homes low. Last quarter, though, prices rose 14%, sending Dayton's affordability rankings down a few notches.