America's 10 Best Undervalued Places to Live

The real estate bust has created some attractive bargain opportunities in certain housing markets.


Oklahoma City. Like Houston, Oklahoma City was able to dodge the housing crash. Real home prices in Oklahoma City increased nearly 3 percent from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. Housing demand was fueled by a strong local economy, which had the nation's ninth-lowest unemployment rate—5.6 percent—as of March of 2009, according to the Brookings Institution. The state's pro-business philosophy plays a key role in its economic strength, says Dawn Kennedy, the CEO of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors. "Businesses come in because the tax situation is favorable," she says. "They bring in jobs, which brings in workers, which brings in homeowners." At the same time, the pleasant weather, friendly residents, and an affordable real estate market make Oklahoma City a great place to live, Kennedy says. "It is like the biggest small town on Earth." IHS Global Insight considers the median home price in Oklahoma City—$105,000—to be 29 percent undervalued.

[Check out The Top 10 Housing Markets for the Next 10 Years.]

Sarasota, Fla. Another alluring option for those looking to buy into the depressed Florida housing market is Sarasota, McCabe says. Like Naples, Sarasota is a relatively upscale community along the state's west coast. "Sarasota has got a lot of culture to it—a lot of art, a lot of art festivals," McCabe says. "It's a nice boating community, and they have got a lot of beautiful homes there." And after home prices plunged 44 percent from the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2009, the market presents would-be buyers with some attractive opportunities. IHS Global Insight considers the median home price in Sarasota—$141,000—to be 28 percent undervalued.

America's 10 Best Undervalued Places to Live: (Percent of undervaluation, according to IHS Global Insight.)

  1. Las Vegas: 41 percent
  2. Houston: 37 percent
  3. Naples, Fla.: 33 percent
  4. Oklahoma City: 29 percent
  5. Sarasota, Fla. 28 percent
  6. San Francisco: 25 percent
  7. Atlanta: 24 percent
  8. Omaha: 23 percent
  9. College Station-Bryan, Texas: 21 percent
  10. San Diego: 21 percent