9. Lewiston, Idaho
Median home price: $149,000
Drop since market peak: 7.5%
Forecast gain through 2013: 10%

Lewiston's location on the banks of the Clearwater River, where major oceangoing ships can easily reach the town, has made it an attractive place for manufacturers to set up shop.

And while the production of everything from paper to ammunition still drives much of the economy, it is starting to diversify into other areas, including medical services.

That has helped the town maintain economic stability, and buffer the housing market from the nationwide collapse in home prices, according to Steven Peterson, an economics professor at the University of Idaho.

The median income of $55,600 is less than the national median -- but the cost of living is low as well. Staples like food and utilities cost about a third less here than in high-priced metro areas.

As the national economy recovers, Lewiston's industries, especially the timber companies and shippers, should start adding jobs. Already, at 7.3% in March, the area's unemployment rate is nearly a percentage point below the national average. And, since the housing market was not overbuilt, demand for homes should start to push prices up.


By Les Christie @CNNMoney - Last updated May 30 2012: 11:16 AM ET
Join the Conversation
America's 10 most polluted cities

These 10 cities had the highest levels of year-round pollution, according to the American Lung Association.

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options