Isanti, 45 miles north of downtown Minneapolis, is like dozens of other exurban communities that became a hotbed for new construction before the housing crash, as developers and home buyers moved farther from the metro core in search of plentiful and inexpensive land for development. Developers and builders flocked to Isanti, Otsego and other once-agricultural communities where farmers were able to cash in on the housing boom by selling their land for development. When sales came to a screeching halt, many developers were left with tens of thousands of building sites and a deep overhang of unsold homes. That oversupply caused home prices to plummet and foreclosure rates to skyrocket. In Isanti, for example, 57 percent of all home sales last year were foreclosures or short sales — the highest percentage in the metro area last year. With first-time buyers back in the market and new home inventories dwindling, these exurban markets are quickly gaining favor with first-time buyers once again.