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Bright spots in the housing nightmare

By David Koeppel, MSN Money

The mortgage meltdown isn’t messing with Texas — much — or with parts of Manhattan. Here are 3 categories of real estate that have gone mostly unscathed amid the pain. Finding reasons for optimism in a floundering housing market is no easy task. Nevada, Florida and California are among the states that have been devastated by foreclosures and tumbling home prices, and even the most elegant neighborhoods haven’t been immune.

Foreclosures have hit from the Hamptons to Beverly Hills, and reports that celebrities such as Ed McMahon and boxer Evander Holyfield are in danger of defaulting on multimillion-dollar homes show that even wealthy Americans are vulnerable.

But economists and real-estate agents insist that if you look hard enough, there is indeed some good news. Texas’ housing prices, buoyed by the state’s thriving energy economy and strong job market forecast, have stayed even or posted gains, and in both the Carolinas and parts of the Rocky Mountain region, prices have been relatively stable compared with the huge declines recorded in many parts of the country. An economic boom in Texas?

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