Home sales plunged in July and housing prices may dip again. But in six metropolitan areas, the housing picture is far brighter: Home values are rising and median prices are already well ahead of their peak during the housing bubble. What allowed these metro areas to beat the downturn in home sales prices? Two are state capitols. Five have lower-than-average unemployment. All of them had undervalued real estate, even at the height of the housing boom, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). When mortgage rates fell, "they had room to grow" and home sales rose. Is your city on the list? Click on the right arrow to see each metro area:
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