Buffalo is tops among metro areas in terms of home-price appreciation. The median sales price of existing single-family homes has risen from $104,000 in 2007 to $121,400 in the second quarter of 2010, a 17 percent increase. Employment, buoyed by the presence of several health-care facilites and the State University of New York at Buffalo, is at an 11-month high and the unemployment rate is well below the national average.
Buffalo still has its challenges: continuing population decline and incomes below the national average. Not everyone's a fan of its huge annual snowfall. But the metro area is beginning to gain recognition for its affordability. Forbes magazine earlier this year rated it the 10th best place to raise a family in the US.