BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The long-running housing bust seems to have finally ended in most of the country, but here's a look at five markets where the bad times roll on.
"These markets are great bargains relative to the rest of the country, but that comes with a price: You're probably not going to see home values recover or increase there as much as in other areas," says Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac, which recently ranked the five metro areas dead last in its Housing Market Recovery Index.
RealtyTrac's index scores 100 of America's largest metro areas based on seven measures of market health, from the local jobless rate to how many homeowners are "underwater" (owing more on their mortgages that their properties are worth).
Blomquist says cities at the very bottom of the list mostly sit in the Pennsylvania/Maryland area, which he says appears to suffer from "a combination of lingering foreclosures and an economy that's not rebounding much."The expert adds that the nation's weakest housing markets are also all in states that have "judicial" foreclosure rules, which require lenders to go through long court processes to seize homes. States with "non-judicial" rules generally allow quicker property seizures, which reduce consumer protections but help clear up foreclosure backlogs more rapidly. "I think it's logical that