Housing Market Drives Urban Renewal

The national real estate boom is starting to transform some neighborhoods that urban renewals programs couldn't help.
May 26, 2005, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"The five-year-old boom in residential housing initially was concentrated heavily on economically vibrant cities like San Diego, Miami and New York. In the past couple of years, it has spread to some less obvious places, including long-distressed sections of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Oakland, Calif. Parts of these cities have turned into hot real-estate markets largely because their house prices still seem like bargains compared with those in more glamorous cities nearby.

...Officials in Baltimore say the rush of investment in housing is helping them turn the city around. The population, estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau at 636,000, has nearly stopped shrinking. In 2004, the median home price in Baltimore jumped 20% to $90,000, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., Rockville, Md., which tracks sales made by real-estate agents. That compares with an 8% rise nationwide."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Thursday, May 26, 2005 in Wall St. Journal
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