America's Best- and Worst-Performing Housing Markets

  1. The Obama Effect
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    The Obama Effect

    Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the government has run a lackluster mortgage relief program and offered Americans incentives to buy homes. Interest rates have fallen to historic lows. Yet by August 2011, the U.S. median home value was down to $172,600, or 9.9 percent below February 2009 levels, according to online real estate information marketplace Zillow.com. Although most housing markets have struggled in the two and a half years that Obama has been President, home values have risen in a small number of cities—and they are not necessarily where you might expect. In Zillow's survey of the country's 1,000 largest cities for Businessweek.com, Weston, Fla., an affluent city near Fort Lauderdale, ranked as the best-performing market, with an increase in median home values of 15.1 percent since February 2009. Other surprising winners: Utica, N.Y., Morristown, Tenn., and Penn Hills, Pa. Still, many markets fared far worse than average. In Homestead, Fla., a low-income Miami suburb about 50 miles from top-performer Weston, the median home value fell 48.8 percent—the greatest drop in the country.

    Click here to see the country's 25 best-performing and 25 worst-performing housing markets since President Obama took office.

    Home value change data on all slides from Zillow.com. The Zillow Home Value Index estimates the value of all homes in an area, not just homes that sold, and does not count foreclosure sales.

    Image Left, Photographer: Thinkstock, Image Right, Photographer: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

  2. No. 25 Best Housing Market: East Lansing, Mich.
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    No. 25 Best Housing Market: East Lansing, Mich.

    Percent change:* +7.9
    MSA:** Lansing
    Population: 48,579***

    College town East Lansing, home to Michigan State University, relies heavily on the education industry, the city's largest employer. The unemployment rate in August, 10.3 percent, was below its 11.8 percent in February 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Zillow Home Value Index shows that the city's median home value was $155,500 in August and the median sale price was $167,500 as of June 30.

    * Period for all slides is from February 2009 to August 2011.
    ** MSA is an abbreviation for the metropolitan statistical area (or metro area) in which the city is located.
    *** Population data for all slides are from 2010 U.S. Census.


    Home value change data on all slides are from Zillow.com

    Photographer: Suzanne Tucker/Getty Images
  3. No. 24 Best Housing Market: Leesburg, Va.
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    No. 24 Best Housing Market: Leesburg, Va.

    Percent change: +8.1
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 42,616

    Leesburg, about 40 miles from Washington, D.C., is a fast-growing Virginia town. Its population grew about 50 percent from 2000 to 2010 as the city became a bedroom community for D.C. commuters. Within Leesburg, the largest employers are the retail, public administration, health-care, education, and professional and technical services sectors, according to the city. The unemployment rate was consistently low through the recession and was slightly lower in August, at 4.1 percent, than in February 2009, when it was 4.2 percent. The median home value in the city was $405,200 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $408,000 as of July 31.

    Photographer:Cameron Davidson/Getty Images
  4. No. 23 Best Housing Market: Chino Hills, Calif.
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    No. 23 Best Housing Market: Chino Hills, Calif.

    Percent change: +8.2
    MSA: Riverside
    Population: 74,799

    Chino Hills, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb, has a median household income of $100,099, estimates the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the city's 2010 annual report, housing growth will slow, but "demand for residential construction will continue due to good schools, low crime, and the city's strong, positive reputation." The city unemployment rate increased to 6.9 percent in August, from 5.9 percent in February 2009, according to BLS data. In August, the median home value in the city was $425,200, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $411,500 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Charles Briscoe-Knight/Getty Images
  5. No. 22 Best Housing Market: Pasco, Wash.
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    No. 22 Best Housing Market: Pasco, Wash.

    Percent change: +8.3
    MSA: Kennewick
    Population: 59,781

    Pasco's population expanded by 86.4 percent over the past decade, according to 2010 Census data, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in Washington. The city is a major agricultural area as well as a distribution hub, with the Tri-Cities Airport, the Columbia and Snake rivers, and rail and trucking routes. These transportation resources are expected to "attract further growth over the next 10 to 20 years," according to the city. Unemployment dropped to 7.8 percent in August, from 9.8 percent in February 2009, according to the BLS. The median home value in the city was $146,600 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $157,100 as of Sept. 30.

    Photographer: Phillip Snyder/Getty Images
  6. No. 21 Best Housing Market: Hoboken, N.J.
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    No. 21 Best Housing Market: Hoboken, N.J.

    Percent change: +8.5
    MSA: New York
    Population: 50,005

    In Hoboken, across the Hudson River from Manhattan, steady condo sales drove down inventory and decreased the average days on market this year, according to the website of Brian Murray, a broker at Empire Realty. Betting on continued demand, Toll Brothers is building a 157-unit condo structure at 1450 Washington Street, scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2012. BLS data indicate that Hoboken's unemployment rate in August was 5.5 percent, was up from 4.8 percent in February 2009. The city's median home value was $474,700 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $471,000 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Scott C. Riether /Getty Images
  7. No. 20 Best Housing Market: Penn Hills, Pa.
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    No. 20 Best Housing Market: Penn Hills, Pa.

    Percent change: +8.6
    MSA: Pittsburgh
    Population: 42,329

    A suburb about 10 miles from Pittsburgh, Penn Hills saw its population decrease by about 10 percent from 2000 to 2010. News site Yourpennhills.com reported that the decline may be due to the weak economy as well as the city's aging population—nearly one-fifth of residents were over age 65 in 2000, compared with a U.S. rate of 12.4 percent, according to U.S. Census data—and local lenders remain optimistic about potential growth. The median home value in the city was $84,400 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $75,300 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  8. No. 19 Best Housing Market: Sterling, Va.
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    No. 19 Best Housing Market: Sterling, Va.

    Percent change: +8.6
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 27,822

    A suburb in Loudoun County about 30 miles from D.C., Sterling has a median household income of $87,160, according to Sperling's BestPlaces. In addition to being close to the capital, Loudoun County is home to such high-tech employers as Verizon Business, AOL (AOL), and Orbital Sciences (ORB), as well as engineering and construction company M.C. Dean, according to the Loudoun County Virginia Dept. of Economic Development. The median home value in the city was $315,600 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $313,100 as of July 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  9. No. 18 Best Housing Market: Somerville, Mass.
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    No. 18 Best Housing Market: Somerville, Mass.

    Percent change: +8.7
    MSA: Boston
    Population: 75,754

    Just north of Boston, Somerville is a diverse mix of blue-collar families, young professionals, college students, and new immigrants, according to the city's website. Somerville has been gentrifying over the past few years and has a large population aged 20 to 44. Median household income in the city was $54,491 in 2010, according to the 2010 Census. Real estate site centersandsquares.com says that home sales in the city increased steadily from 2008 to 2010, and the median sale price rebounded in 2010. The 5.2 percent unemployment rate in August was below the 5.6 percent rate in February 2009. The median home value in the city was $357,400 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $380,300 as of Sept. 30.

    Photographer: Stan Honda/Getty
  10. No. 17 Best Housing Market: Morristown, Tenn.
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    No. 17 Best Housing Market: Morristown, Tenn.

    Percent change: +8.9
    MSA: Morristown
    Population: 29,137

    Eastern Tennessee's Morristown is an employment hub of Hamblen County. The manufacturing, retail, and health-care industries are the county's largest employers, including poultry processor Koch Foods, aluminum manufacturer Mahle, and furniture maker Berkline, according to the local chamber of commerce. Even as home prices increased, the city struggled with a high unemployment rate, which was 13.2 percent in August 2011, the BLS estimates. The median home value in the city was $108,700 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $119,800 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  11. No. 16 Best Housing Market: Utica, N.Y.
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    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
  12. No. 15 Best Housing Market: Kailua, Hawaii
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    No. 15 Best Housing Market: Kailua, Hawaii

    Percent change: +9.9
    MSA: Honolulu
    Population: 38,635

    A residential community northeast of Honolulu, Kailua is well known as being a vacation spot for the Obama family. According to the Kailua Chamber of Commerce, property values in the Kailua area have held up much better than in most other areas on the island of Oahu, thanks to the city's beaches and proximity to Honolulu and the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Median home value in the city was $725,100 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $752,300 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Alvis Upitis/Getty
  13. No. 14 Best Housing Market: Boston
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    No. 14 Best Housing Market: Boston

    Percent change: +10.4
    MSA: Boston
    Population: 617,594

    Behind Boston's strong numbers: a boost in sales of higher-priced properties as the city drew more interest from international buyers and as investors looked to real estate as a less-risky bet than such other assets as stocks, according to a market report on bostonrealtyweb.com. The presence of many educational institutions in the area has also provided stability for the local real estate market. Boston's 7 percent unemployment rate in August was the same as in February 2009. The median home value in the city was $333,500 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $395,300 as of Sept. 30.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  14. No. 13 Best Housing Market: McLean, Va.
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    No. 13 Best Housing Market: McLean, Va.

    Percent change: +11.1
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 48,115

    This wealthy D.C. suburb, home to many government officials and employees, has a median household income of $156,943, according to 2009 Census data. It is also home to the headquarters of Freddie Mac, Capital One Financial (COF), Gannett (GCI), and Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH). The city's median home value was $770,400 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $811,500 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer Greg Dale/National Geographic/Getty Images
  15. No. 12 Best Housing Market: Millcreek Township, Penn.
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    No. 12 Best Housing Market: Millcreek Township, Penn.

    Percent change: +11.1
    MSA: Erie
    Population: 53,515

    Millcreek Township, home to the Erie International Airport and the Millcreek Mall, relies heavily on the health-care, manufacturing, retail, and educational service industries for employment, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Unemployment increased from 6.9 percent in February 2009 to 7.5 percent in August 2011, BLS figures indicate. The median home value in the city was $150,300 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $149,100 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Nivek Neslo/ Getty Images
  16. No. 11 Best Housing Market: Chantilly, Va.
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    No. 11 Best Housing Market: Chantilly, Va.

    Percent change: +11.2
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 23,039

    Another area adjacent to the Washington-Dulles International Area, Chantilly is home to an arm of the National Air & Space Museum that houses a Space Shuttle, an Air France Concorde, and the Gemini VII capsule. The median home value in the city was $432,100 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $459,800 as of July 31.

    Photographer: Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images
  17. No. 10 Best Housing Market: Portage, Mich.
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    No. 10 Best Housing Market: Portage, Mich.

    Percent change: +11.6
    MSA: Kalamazoo
    Population: 46,292

    A city on the southern outskirts of Kalamazoo, Portage attracts people with its great neighborhoods and green parks. The town plays host to the Air Zoo, a museum and amusement park that features an SR-71B Blackbird, World War II bombers, and full-motion flight simulators. The median home value in the city was $137,500 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $132,900 as of June 30.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  18. No. 9 Best Housing Market: Reston, Va.
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    No. 9 Best Housing Market: Reston, Va.

    Percent change: +12
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 58,404

    Adjacent to a few of the other areas on our list, Reston is an affluent community in Fairfax County near the Washington-Dulles International Airport. One draw is the Reston Town Center, with its wide sidewalks, restaurants, stores, and a pavilion that doubles as an ice rink and concert venue. The median home value in the city was $387,000 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $397,200 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  19. No. 8 Best Housing Market: Ashburn, Va.
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    No. 8 Best Housing Market: Ashburn, Va.

    Percent change: +12.1
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 43,511

    Ashburn, in Virginia's Loudon Country, is a quickly growing, well-to-do suburb of Washington, D.C. The area has great schools, not to mention a campus of George Washington University, and plays host to the training camp of the Washington Redskins. The median home value in the city was $424,200 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $437,500 as of July 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  20. No. 7 Best Housing Market: Mason, Ohio
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    No. 7 Best Housing Market: Mason, Ohio

    Percent change: +12.6
    MSA: Cincinnati
    Population: 30,712

    The population of this affluent Ohio city, 22 miles northeast of Cincinnati, increased nearly 40 percent from 2000 to 2010, according the Census Bureau. Mason's industrial facilities provide many jobs in the area, and three of the 10 largest employers in Warren County are in Mason, according to the city's website. Census data for 2009 show median household income at $89,569. The city's median home value was $217,300 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price as of July 31 was $217,300.

    Photographer: Andrew Hetherington/Getty images
  21. No. 6 Best Housing Market: Herndon, Va.
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    No. 6 Best Housing Market: Herndon, Va.

    Percent change: +12.6
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 23,292

    Herndon has a small-town feel even though it is part of the larger Washington D.C. area and sits adjacent to Washington-Dulles International Airport. Old railroads have been turned to positive purposes, with the center of town hosting an old railroad station converted into the Herndon Depot Museum and a 45-mile chunk of track made into a trail that runs through the area. The median home value in the city was $425,100 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and as of Aug. 31, the median sale price was $ 443,000.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  22. No. 5 Best Housing Market: Vienna, Va.
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    No. 5 Best Housing Market: Vienna, Va.

    Percent change: +12.8
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 15,687

    One of the gems of Fairfax County, Vienna is home to such attractions as the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and the rolling greens of the private Westwood Country Club. According to the Zillow Home Value Index, the median home value in the city was $638,500 in August, and the median sale price was $ 645,400 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Robert Shafer/Getty Images
  23. No. 4 Best Housing Market: Burke, Va.
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    No. 4 Best Housing Market: Burke, Va.

    Percent change: +13.5
    MSA: Washington, D.C.
    Population: 41,055

    A green area of parks, cul-de-sacs, and community centers with pools on the outskirts of the greater Washington, D.C., area, Burke is an affluent community within Fairfax County. The median home value in the city was $434,200 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price as of Aug. 31 was $427,300.

    Photographer: Michael Melford/Getty Images
  24. No. 3 Best Housing Market: Brookline, Mass.
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    No. 3 Best Housing Market: Brookline, Mass.

    Percent change: +13.6
    MSA: Boston
    Population: 58,732

    The affluent suburb of Brookline shares a border with Boston but has a unique feel, with upscale stores and cute restaurants. The town is mostly residential, with historic houses that hearken back to the Revolutionary War. It is also the site of the Country Club, the oldest country club in the U.S., which was founded in 1882. The median home value in the city was $506,900 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $513,200 as of July 31.

    Photographer: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
  25. No. 2 Best Housing Market: Arlington, Mass.
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    No. 2 Best Housing Market: Arlington, Mass.

    Percent change: 14.8
    MSA: Boston
    Population: 42,844

    Settled in 1635 as Menotomy Village, an Algonquin word for rapids or swift water, and later named Arlington, the area has a rich history that includes part of Paul Revere's famous ride. The town has a high level of median income, great schools, and green parks. Home sales in this Boston suburb have increased for the last four years, according to Boston.com. The median home value in the city was $475,800 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $468,200 as of July 31.

    Photographer: Jared LeedsGetty Images
  26. No. 1 Best Housing Market: Weston, Fla.
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    No. 1 Best Housing Market: Weston, Fla.

    Percent change: 15.1
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 65,333

    The country's top-performing housing market since President Obama took office: Weston, a luxury community near the Everglades in the Fort Lauderdale area. The city has been home to such pro athletes as former White Sox player José Canseco and the Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramirez, according to real estate news site blockshopper.com. From April 2008 to April 2011, the population grew about 5 percent, estimates the University of Florida Bureau of Economics & Business Research. In 2006 Businessweek.com ranked Weston one of "The Best Affordable Suburbs" in the U.S. The median home value in the city was $280,000 in August, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and as of Aug. 31, the median sale price was $ 335,000.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  27. No. 25 Worst Housing Market: Deerfield Beach, Fla.
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    No. 25 Worst Housing Market: Deerfield Beach, Fla.

    Percentage change: -33.2
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 75,018

    The Miami-Fort Lauderdale Metropolitan Statistical Area is suffering a glut of condominiums. According to a 2007 Bloomberg article, 20,000 new units were being built in Miami alone, joining 22,924 existing condos already for sale in the county. Like many other communities in the area, Deerfield Beach, in Broward County, has seen a sharp drop in home values following the housing boom of the early 2000s. The median home value in the city is $83,100, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $83,400 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Walter Bibikow/Getty Images
  28. No. 24 Worst Housing Market: Ocala, Fla.
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    No. 24 Worst Housing Market: Ocala, Fla.

    Percentage change: -34.3
    MSA: Ocala
    Population: 56,315

    Like other parts of Florida, Ocala was hard hit by the housing bust. Distressed homes, which typically sell at a discount, accounted for 32 percent of sales in the second quarter of 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors. Ocala was among the worst markets in the U.S., where prices fell 15 percent year over year. The median home value in the city is $74,200, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price at the end of August was $82,800.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  29. No. 23 Worst Housing Market: Desert Hot Springs, Calif. (tie)
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    No. 23 Worst Housing Market: Desert Hot Springs, Calif. (tie)

    Percentage change: -35.1
    MSA: Riverside
    Population: 25,938

    The eponymous hot springs have been attracting tourists since mineral water was discovered in 1913, but only after 1990 has the area really begun to grow. From 2000 to 2010, its population jumped 56.4 percent, according to the most recent census. The Zillow Home Value Index shows the city's median home value to be $94,300, and the median sale price on Aug. 31 was $101,300.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  30. No. 23 Worst Housing Market: Cleveland (tie)
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    No. 23 Worst Housing Market: Cleveland (tie)

    Percentage change: -35.1
    MSA: Cleveland
    Population: 396,815

    Cleveland, the seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous in the state, was one of the first cities to be hit by the foreclosure crisis. A combination of predatory lending, the economic downturn, and an exodus to the suburbs caused prices to plummet once mortgages came due. The median home value in the city is $48,700, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $55,600 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  31. No. 21 Worst Housing Market: Tampa
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    No. 21 Worst Housing Market: Tampa

    Percentage change: -35.6
    MSA: Tampa
    Population: 335,709

    Beginning in the late 1980s, Tampa, the Hillsborough County seat, experienced a boom in new development and jobs. Tampa's economy strengthened, thanks to MacDill Air Force Base, the headquarters of a number of leading companies, such as Raymond James Financial and WellCare Health Plans, and the city's proximity to Orlando, site of Disneyworld. But like many Florida communities, Tampa suffered a combination of overbuilding and predatory lending, which forced its real estate market to contract dramatically. The city's median home value is $90,800, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and at the end of August the median sale price was $139,700.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  32. No. 19 Worst Housing Market: Sanford, Fla. (tie)
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    No. 19 Worst Housing Market: Sanford, Fla. (tie)

    Percentage change: -35.7
    MSA: Orlando
    Population: 53,570

    The county seat of Seminole County, Sanford has suffered the fate of many of its Florida neighbors. Overdevelopment and easy mortgages combined to prop up and then knock down home prices. The median home value in the city is $92,400, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price as of Aug. 31 was $99,300.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  33. No. 19 Worst Housing Market: Cicero, Ill. (tie)
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    No. 19 Worst Housing Market: Cicero, Ill. (tie)

    Percentage change: -35.7
    MSA: Chicago
    Population: 83,891

    While still a major manufacturing center, Cicero's economy has been in decline for years. Unlike many of the other cities in this ranking, there was no new development to create a glut during the housing bust. The combination of the economic downturn, predatory lending, and a decline in local manufacturing jobs was responsible for its fall in home values. According to the Zillow Home Value Index, the median home value in the city is $105,200, and the median sale price was $84,800 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  34. No. 17 Worst Housing Market: Phoenix (tie)
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    No. 17 Worst Housing Market: Phoenix (tie)

    Percentage change: -35.9
    MSA: Phoenix
    Population: 1,445,632

    Like many cities in Florida, Phoenix experienced a huge housing boom over the past decade. The 2010 Census showed that while the state's population grew 25 percent, the number of housing units increased 30 percent, much of which were in Phoenix. The city attracted new residents, as well as retirees and second-home owners lured by its temperate climate. The median home value in the city is $98,200, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price is $117,000.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  35. No. 17 Worst Housing Market: Deltona, Fla. (tie)
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    No. 17 Worst Housing Market: Deltona, Fla. (tie)

    Percentage change: -35.9
    MSA: Daytona Beach
    Population: 85,182

    Volusia County's largest city, Deltona experienced, like many other communities along the state's eastern coast, a population surge of more than 1,000 percent between 1970 and 2000. While the city continued to grow over the past decade, the rate of increase slowed noticeably. The Zillow Home Value Index indicates that the city's median home value is $72,700, and the median sale price at the end of August was $71,900.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  36. No. 16 Worst Housing Market: Fontainebleau, Fla.
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    No. 16 Worst Housing Market: Fontainebleau, Fla.

    Percentage change: -36.2
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 27,689

    Fontainebleau—a "census-designated place" in Miami-Dade County—is the home of CompUSA, Lennar, and TigerDirect. Zillow.com reports that the city's median home value is $86,500, and the median sale price was $83,500 at the close of August.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  37. No. 15 Worst Housing Market: Margate, Fla.
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    No. 15 Worst Housing Market: Margate, Fla.

    Percentage change: -36.6
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 53,284

    Margate is a city in Broward County. The median home value in the city is $85,900, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $67,000 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  38. No. 14 Worst Housing Market: Lauderhill, Fla.
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    No. 14 Worst Housing Market: Lauderhill, Fla.

    Percentage change: -36.8
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 66,887

    Lauderhill is a city in Broward County that had originally been a popular destination for retirees and snowbirds. The median home value in the city is $54,600, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $45,500 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Walter Bibikow/Getty Images
  39. No. 13 Worst Housing Market: Kendall West, Fla.
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    No. 13 Worst Housing Market: Kendall West, Fla.

    Percentage change: -37.5
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 36,154

    Kendall West is a census-designated place within Miami-Dade County with a large working-class population. The Zillow Home Value Indexindicates that the city's median home value is $95,200, and the median sale price at the end of August was $82,400.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  40. No. 12 Worst Housing Market: Aiken, S.C.
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    No. 12 Worst Housing Market: Aiken, S.C.

    Percentage change: -37.9
    MSA: Augusta
    Population: 29,524

    Aiken first rose to prominence in the late 19th century as a popular winter destination for wealthy Northeasterners. It continues to attract a large retired community, although many seasonal residents have found themselves overextended building second homes in the area. The median home value in the city is $86,100, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $138,400 on Aug. 31.

    Photgrapher: Raymond Gehman/National Geographic/Getty Images
  41. No. 11 Worst Housing Market: Miami Gardens, Fla.
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    No. 11 Worst Housing Market: Miami Gardens, Fla.

    Percentage change: -38.6
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 107,167

    Like many communities in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale MSA, Miami Gardens has struggled through the housing bust. It has among the lowest tax revenue in the state and many low-income housing developments that are breeding grounds for crime. The Zillow Home Value Index's median home value for the city is $102,800, and the median sale price at the end of August was $87,800.

    Photographer: John Humble/Getty Images
  42. No. 10 Worst Housing Market: North Miami Beach
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    No. 10 Worst Housing Market: North Miami Beach

    Percentage change: -38.8
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 41,523

    Like many other communities in the county, a combination of predatory lending and the economic downturn has hurt property values. The median home value in the city is $103,000, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price as of Aug. 31 was $90,500.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  43. No. 9 Worst Housing Market: Richmond, Calif.
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    No. 9 Worst Housing Market: Richmond, Calif.

    Percentage change: -39.2
    MSA: San Francisco
    Population: 103,701

    According to a 2009 article in the Oakland Tribune, Richmond had the third-highest crime rate in the U.S. that year. A residential inner suburb of San Francisco, Richmond is a former industrial area that has been shifting to more residential use in recent years. The Zillow Home Value Index puts the city's median home value at $163,400, and the median sale price at the close of August was $162,600.

    Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  44. No. 8 Worst Housing Market: Orlando
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    No. 8 Worst Housing Market: Orlando

    Percentage change: -39.3
    MSA: Orlando
    Population: 238,300

    Home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and a host of other attractions, Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Like many other Florida communities, it fell victim to overdevelopment as many retirees and second-home owners either were forced to foreclose or decided not to buy. Moreover, the local economy was hurt by the economic downturn as discretionary spending, especially travel, has fallen off. The median home value in the city is $90,600, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $93,000 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  45. No. 7 Worst Housing Market: North Lauderdale, Fla.
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    No. 7 Worst Housing Market: North Lauderdale, Fla.

    Percentage change: -40.1
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 41,023

    North Lauderdale, like many other communities in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale MSA, has been hit hard by the housing bust. The Zillow Home Value Index indicates that the city's median home value is $80,600, and the median sale price was $64,100 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  46. No. 6 Worst Housing Market: North Miami
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    No. 6 Worst Housing Market: North Miami

    Percentage change: -40.9
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 58,786

    The fourth-largest city in Miami-Dade County, North Miami is located on Biscayne Bay and built on reclaimed land. A large mixed-use development, the 193-acre Biscayne Landing, was the largest ever built on a former Superfund site. In May 2001, it also became one of the largest write-offs in securitized mortgage history, affecting more than $196.3 million in mortgages. The median home value in the city is $89,800, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price was $80,400 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  47. No. 5 Worst Housing Market: Altamonte Springs, Fla.
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    No. 5 Worst Housing Market: Altamonte Springs, Fla.

    Percentage change: -41.3
    MSA: Orlando
    Population: 41,496

    The fortunes of Altamonte Springs, like those of Orlando, have risen and fallen with the economic boom and bust. The median home value in the city is $86,300, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and on Sept. 30 the median sale price was $66,900.

    Photographer: George Skene/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images
  48. No. 4 Worst Housing Market: Lehigh Acres, Fla.
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    No. 4 Worst Housing Market: Lehigh Acres, Fla.

    Percentage change: -42.2
    MSA: Fort Myers
    Population: 86,784

    Lehigh Acres is a "census-designated place" in the Fort Myers MSA. The area experienced a boom in new housing in the first years of the century, peaking at more than 7,500 new homes built in 2006, according to the New York Times. In 2009, sale prices of homes in Lehigh Acres were 80 percent off their peaks. Foreclosures have soared in the area, and unemployment in the county rose to 9.8 percent, from 3.5 percent in 2007. The median home value in the city is $63,700, as measured by the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price as of Aug. 31 was $65,200.

    Photographer: Stephanie Himango/NBC NewsWire via AP Images
  49. No. 3 Worst Housing Market: Trenton, N.J.
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    No. 3 Worst Housing Market: Trenton, N.J.

    Percentage change: -46.0
    MSA: Trenton
    Population: 84,913

    Like many former industrial cities, Trenton has seen its economic base dwindle dramatically since the end of World War II. Despite being the capital of New Jersey, the city fell on hard times as manufacturing jobs declined and many residents relocated to the suburbs. Crime has been a persistent problem. In 2005, it was cited as the fourth most-dangerous city in the U.S. with a population between 75,000 and 99,000. The median home value in the city is $60,700, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, and the median sale price at the end of July was $38,000.

    Photographer: Thinkstock
  50. No. 2 Worst Housing Market: Pontiac, Mich.
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    No. 2 Worst Housing Market: Pontiac, Mich.

    Percentage change: -47.4
    MSA: Detroit
    Population: 59,515

    Falling within the Detroit metropolitan area, Pontiac is a former manufacturing city whose the economic base eroded along with the decline of the U.S. auto industry. Once the home of General Motors' (GM) primary truck factory and the now-defunct Pontiac brand, the city entered into receivership in 2009. From 1970 to 2010, the city's population shrank 30 percent, to 59,575, according to the 2010 Census. The Zillow Home Value Index puts the city's median home value at $33,800, and the median sale price as of Aug. 31 was $24,000.

    Photographer: Getty Images
  51. No. 1 Worst Housing Market: Homestead, Fla.
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    No. 1 Worst Housing Market: Homestead, Fla.

    Percentage change: -48.8
    MSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Population: 60,512

    At first glance, Homestead is a typical working-class Florida community that experienced a huge housing boom in recent years. Unfortunately, it is also typical in that many of those new houses are either unfinished, behind on their mortgages, in foreclosure, or abandoned. Homestead is unlike other Florida communities, however, in that it has seen the biggest deterioration in home values in this already economically-damaged state. Even worse, with a percentage drop of 48.8 percent, Homestead has the worst decline in home values in the U.S. The city was badly damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and never really recovered. Crime is also an issue: The crime rate remains above the state average. According to the Zillow Home Value Index, the median home value in the city is $76,000, and the median sale price was $96,400 as of Aug. 31.

    Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images