1. Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, located just west of Dallas and Arlington, has a number of characteristics that suggest an opportunity filled foreclosure market and a healthy market in general. The city’s population has grown by 19.17 percent in the last six years and job growth during the same time period held steady at 5.12 percent. Meanwhile, the foreclosure rate for the Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) stands at 1.75 percent.
Fort Worth, in keeping with much of the state of Texas, has some of the lowest home prices in the nation. The median home value in Fort Worth was $111,900—less than half the median home value in Denver. Additionally, Fort Worth’s median rental rate of $723 is just $1 less than Denver’s $724 median rental rate. That means rental property investors in Fort Worth could make their money back in a timely fashion.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has seen a steady increase in the median home price during the last year. Median home prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA rose 1.7 percent between the second quarters of 2006 and 2007. With home prices, job growth and population growth on the rise and relatively inexpensive homes, Fort Worth looks like an excellent choice for foreclosure investors.
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2. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio has seen great population and job growth and it has the lowest median home value among the top 10 cities. In the last six years, San Antonio has seen its population grow by 11.25 percent. Jobs increased by 8.87 percent between 2000 and 2006.
Meanwhile, San Antonio’s median home value is a reasonable $96,300. However, that price rose 6.6 percent between 2006 and 2007 in greater San Antonio. San Antonio also boasts the lowest homeowner vacancy rate of any city on the list. However, with only 0.89 percent of homes in foreclosure in the San Antonio metro area, investors may need to be tenacious to find a good deal.
3. Jacksonville, Florida
Sunny Jacksonville is a hot spot for retirees, but it’s also a good market for foreclosed properties. Population growth in the city between 2000 and 2006 was 8.74 percent, and job growth during the same time period was 10.42 percent. Additionally, Jacksonville’s unemployment rate of 6 percent is the lowest among the selected cities.
Jacksonville’s median home value of $168,900 is the fifth highest of the selected cities. However, the monthly owner costs—including utilities, taxes and insurance—of $338 are the second lowest among cities selected. Further, the city’s median gross rent of $755 is third highest among cities chosen. With a middling median home value, and a somewhat high median rental rate, it is likely investors could generate decent returns on their investment.
The Jacksonville metro area saw a 0.4 percent rise in median home price and the percentage of foreclosed homes stands at 1.37. Only judicial foreclosures are available in Florida and the foreclosure process takes 135 days. There is no right of redemption in Florida.