|June 8, 2009 -
Posted June 4, 2009
U.S. News & World Report
With home prices at the national level down a painful 32 percent from their 2006 peaks, it's easy to overlook real estate's benefits as along-term investment. But the truth is, despite the ongoing housing bust, the overwhelming majority of America's real estate markets will appreciate over the next 10 years—although some more handsomely than others. "In the long run—subtracting from the ups and downs of the business cycle—house prices should grow at the rate of household income," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "If people's incomes are rising, then they will buy more housing and house prices will rise." Income growth, in turn, is linked to the strength of the area's economy. Moody's Economy.com sifted through employment and population data and analyzed geographic and industry trends to generate 10-year home price projections for each of the nation's 384 distinct metropolitan statistical areas—everywhere from Abilene, Texas, to Yuma, Ariz. Using these data, U.S. News compiled a list of the top 10 housing markets for the next 10 years.
The neighboring cities of Bremerton and Silverdale, Wash., are located on the Kitsap Peninsula, a slip of land surrounded by more than 300 miles of coastline in lovely Puget Sound. Although the Pacific Northwest greenery is enticing, it's the cities' stable economies that should drive home price gains in the coming years. A large military presence—of the U.S. Navy in particular—helps insulate the local economies from volatility. Meanwhile, the nearby cities of Tacoma, Wash., and Seattle provide additional employment to the area's roughly 240,000 residents. "About a third of the community works [in either Tacoma or Seattle]," says Silvia Klatman, executive director of the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce. "And a little bit more than that actually work...for the military." Silverdale's 2008 median home sale price was $266,500. Moody's Economy.com expects home prices in the Bremerton/Silverdale area to increase by an average of 5.2 percent annually from the fourth quarter of 2008 through the same period of 2018.