Agent

Seeking value? Think small metros

Survey: Home-buying risk assessed in 100 U.S. regions

For the past 25 years, Mike Ela has been a numbers plumber for the housing industry. He accumulates, analyzes and distributes U.S. property information, pulling from one source to help define and explain another statistic or trend. He has designed tools that determine home values, enabling potential buyers to take a more focused look at specific cities and neighborhoods. Given all the bleak news regarding the bursting foreclosure rate, lenders going out of business and unemployment numbers rising, Ela went looking for some better news on the real estate front. While he found that values have dropped almost everywhere, there are some areas of the country that are reasonably stable and where risk factors are minimal. Ela believes stability matters, especially in uncertain markets. Over the long haul, stable areas tend to fare better from a value standpoint than those experiencing high foreclosure, property flipping and volatile sales trends. "We are all a little tire...