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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- While demand for homes has nose-dived from Florida to California, some smaller metropolitan pockets continue to thrive.
Towns like Salem, Oregon, and Provo and Orem, Utah, may lack glamor but a recent federal study shows they are among the few places in the country where housing prices are growing at double-digit rates.
Experts say population growth and job growth are one reason. Local factors -- like proximity to ski slopes, mountain bike trails, or nearby cities -- are also helping some Western markets escape one of the nation's worst housing downturns in years.
Fifteen of 20 metropolitan areas with the highest rates of home appreciation in the country were in Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Colorado or New Mexico. Utah economist Mark Knold says young, first-time homebuyers are triggering demand in Utah.
The Provo-Orem metro area was ranked second in the nation in house price appreciation with nearly 20 percent between the first quarters of 2006 and 2007 in the federal study.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)