10 Off-Beat Cities Named Best Places to Retire

10 Off-Beat Cities Named Best Places to Retire
U.S. News & World Report | REALTOR® Mag News | October 22, 2018

Retirees may want to head to Lancaster, Pa. The town earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s list of 2019 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. Lancaster’s housing affordability and its residents’ high rank for their happiness, helped it to bump Sarasota, Fla., from the number one position this year.

U.S. News & World Report evaluated the country’s 100 largest metro areas to see how well they met retirees’ expectations, such as in housing affordability, desirability, health care, and overall happiness. “Deciding where to retire is a big decision,” says Emily Brandon, senior editor for retirement. “The Best Places to Retire offers a way for future retirees to make a more informed decision based on what matters the most to them. Whether that be housing affordability, access to quality hospitals, or the desirability of a place in general, the rankings offer a comprehensive list that can point people in the best direction for their needs.”

This year’s top 10 best places to retire are:

  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  2. Fort Myers, Florida
  3. Sarasota, Florida
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  6. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  7. Nashville, Tennessee
  8. San Antonio/Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  9. Lakeland, Florida

Source: “100 Best Places to Retire in the USA,” U.S. News & World Report (October 2018); REALTOR® Mag News 102218

10 Cities with Lowest Rates of Home Equity

Despite generally rising home prices, home equity continues to fall in many cites hardest hit by the unraveling of the real estate market. 

Equity continues to drop because of resetting mortgage rates, job losses, and high rates of foreclosure depressing home prices further. 

Using information from credit reporting service Equifax, Forbes magazine measured the percentage of home equity relative to a home’s current value in the country’s 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas. 

It determined that these are the 10 areas with the lowest average percentage of home equity: 

  1. Modesto, Calif.
  2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  3. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.
  4. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
  5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.
  6. Stockton, Calif.
  7. Merced, Calif.
  8. Reno-Sparks, Nev.
  9. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
  10. Anchorage, Alaska

 Source: Forbes, Tim Kiladze (05/06/2010)

Foreclosures Decline in Most Hard-Hit Markets

Among the 20 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates, foreclosures actually declined in the last year, falling in 14 of the top 20 cities and eight of the top 10, reports RealtyTrac, which provides a market platform for foreclosures. 

“The decreasing foreclosure activity in some of the nation’s top foreclosure hot spots in the first quarter is largely the result of government intervention and other non-market influences, and not a sure signal that those areas are out of the woods yet when it comes to foreclosures,” says RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio. 

Nationwide, foreclosure activity increased in 159 of the 206 metro areas RealtyTrac tracks and was up 16 percent overall compared to the first quarter of 2009. 

Here are the top 10 cities with the most foreclosures: 

  1. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
  2. Modesto, Calif.
  3. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  4. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
  5. Stockton, Calif.
  6. Merced, Calif.
  7. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
  8. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
  9. Bakersfield, Calif.
  10. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.

Source: RealtyTrac (04/29/2010)