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St. Petersburg, Fla.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Just $140,000 buys this five bedroom home in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Population 2010: 244,760
Drop since 2000: 1.4%

This sun-drenched city on the shores of Tampa Bay has attracted golden-agers for many decades. It registered explosive population increases early in the 20th century through the 1950s, followed by steadier growth since. In the past few decades, the city has gotten younger, with a median age of 39.3, just slightly higher than the state as a whole.

By 1980, the city has been largely built-out, according to Coldwell Banker Realtor David Price, with no easily developable tracts of land left. The population had stagnated, with zero population growth in the 1980s, a 4% increase in the 1990s and a 1.4% decline in the latest census.

As the fourth largest city in Florida, St. Pete has its share of cultural attractions. "St. Pete is close to some of the best beaches in the United States," said Price, "and there are lots of activities, with theater downtown, plays in the park and Indy car racing."

It is the home of the largest Salvador Dali collection outside of Europe. Like many of the residents of St. Petersburg, this art migrated there from the Midwest; it started as the private collection of a Cleveland industrialist.

The housing bust has made homes here very affordable. A five bedroom, three-bath home in fine condition in the Round Lake district is selling for just $140,000.

NEXT: Eureka, Calif.
Last updated April 21 2011: 10:53 AM ET
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