No. 16 Best Housing Market: Utica, N.Y.

Percent change: +9.6
MSA: Utica
Population: 62,235

Utica may not immediately come to mind as a strong housing market—median household income in the Rust Belt city is only $31,090, according to 2009 Census data, and the BLS estimates that unemployment was 8.7 percent in August 2011—but home prices rose 9.6 percent over the past two and a half years. Unlike many other markets, Utica's housing market did not spike during the housing boom and is not hampered today by foreclosures. The city is also investing in revitalizing its downtown. The past decade has also seen a surge in new residents, primarily Bosnians, who now make up about 10 percent of the population, offsetting earlier declines as traditional manufacturing jobs disappeared. The median home value in the city was $82,200 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price in May was $79,600.

Photographer: AP Photo/Michael Okoniewsk
 
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