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5. Fairbanks, AK
Fairbanks
Home price forecast (1 year):* 4.2%
Fairbanks is a boom and bust city at the end of the road in America's Last Frontier. The economy often depends on government -- especially military contracts -- and the volatile oil industry. But the area's unemployment rate has remained a bit lower than the national average, 8.3% in December. And wages tend to be high -- as are living expenses.

The city has a rapidly expanding population putting housing in short supply and contributing to projections of accelerating home prices over the next couple of years.
Is this a good time to buy a home in Fairbanks?
Population:
(2006)
86,754
Median family income:
(2008)
$71,300
Median home price:
(2009)
N/A
Affordability index:
(Median home price/family income 2009)
N/A
Prices peaked in: 2007:Q3
Total climb during the boom:
(2000 to peak)
57.0%
Total decline so far:
(Peak through 2009)
-0.3%
One-year change:
(Q4 2008 to Q4 2009)
0.8%
Additional price change to bottom: N/A
When they'll hit bottom: 2008:Q3
*(Q1 2010 - Q1 2011)
† Data is for Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area
Notes:
Median home prices are for single-family homes through the third quarter of 2009, the most recent data available, and include sales of bank-owned properties.
Sources: Fiserv and Moody's Economy.com
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