California's Bay Area. The once-bankrupt city of Vallejo is now the area's hottest housing market, on account of its location and low prices.

In 2008, Vallejo, CA declared bankruptcy. In 2011 the city was ranked No. 9 on the Forbes list of Most Miserable Cities, and No. 2 on Newsweek’s List of Dying Cities. But now, for the past two months, the city has taken the #1 spot on’s list of the nation’s hottest housing markets.

According to’s Clare Trapasso, the blighted city’s boom stems from the prohibitively high home prices in other parts of the Bay Area. The median listing price for a Vallejo home is $345,000 – still above the national average of $306,700 for a new home, but far below San Francisco’s $1.1 million or Palo Alto’s $2 million median.

“It still remains one of the few arguably affordable places in Northern California,” says Javier Vivas,’s manager of economic research. “That makes owning a viable option in Vallejo, driving up demand.”

Vallejo is only 30 miles from San Francisco, and 60 from Sacramento. Crime rates in the city are still double the national average as of 2014, and the city’s public schools have only a 4 out of 10 rating on

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