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For Bright Spots in the Housing Market, Follow the Locals

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On the heels of last week's surprisingly bad news for the Atlanta housing market, there comes a glimmer of hope. Though it may not exactly qualify as news (just ask realtors doing deals in Morningside), some desirable in-town neighborhoods seem to be doing just fine, driven by demand from locals. On a national list of hot sub-markets, Atlanta's own Virginia Highland joined 'nabes like L.A.'s Hancock Park, Miami's Key Biscayne and Washington, D.C.'s Logan Circle as those experiencing better-than-the-rest-of-the-country conditions in their housing markets. Unsurprisingly, the retail, restaurant and entertainment options of Va-Hi are a prime draw, as are the lovely, leafy streets of bungalows interrupted by parks. The million dollar question: will the trend-bucking performance of housing in our intown neighborhoods encourage more people to come intown, or given the still-struggling economy, push people out to cheaper housing in the suburbs?

· The Neighborhoods Where Locals Want to Live [The Atlantic Cities blog]