Only three U.S. cities are still resisting the tumbling real estate market: Charlotte, N.C., Portland, and Seattle. At least so far. This RealEstateUndressed.com. Other urban analysts say that for a tech-driven economy, you need a city that is attractive to nerds and rich people. The former, drawn to cities with nightlife, hiking, liberal and tolerant politics, good hang-out spaces, and zones that preserve the historic feel of an old city, provide the human capital. The latter group provides the venture capital. Lakes and mountains help draw rich folks, and they will put up with the liberalism (unless taxes get too high or services too tattered), since it attracts a critical mass of entrepreneurial talent. Nor do they mind high real estate prices. Whether the lakes and liberals can keep our real estate prices rising will be tested in the coming year. Last year they fell 8.8 percent in Los Angeles, while Seattle housing prices increased 3.3 percent. But Seattle prices have been slowing for the past 18 months, and in October housing sale prices fell 0.9 percent from September, the third monthly decline in a row.