"SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Aside from being Oregon's capital city, Salem doesn't have much to boast about. Most downtown restaurants close by 7:00 p.m. and Lefty's -- the only cool bar in town, according to local college students -- is known for its karaoke fundraisers.
But the real estate market here is buzzing. For-sale signs litter front yards and the local paper is fat with ads for homes.
The community of 150,000 or so souls is a prime example of an overlooked phenomenon in the country's overheated housing market: While demand for homes has nose-dived from Florida to California, some smaller metropolitan pockets continue to thrive.
Sleepy towns like Salem, Ore.; Wenatchee, Wash.; and Provo-Orem, Utah may lack glamor but they are among the few places in the country where housing prices are growing at double-digit rates, according to a recent federal study...
..Between the first quarters of 2006 and 2007 homes in Salem appreciated 13.4 percent, 14.5 in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, and 16.8 percent in Grand Junction, Colo."