The Top 5 Real Estate Markets in the U.S.

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The housing market is beginning to rebound ever so slightly, so now might be the time to enter the housing market for the first time or to buy a rental property.  Thanks to the housing crisis, though, buying a home isn’t simply a matter of finding a place you like in a neighborhood you like and plunking down your down payment.

If you don’t want to end up in a dying housing market that could find you underwater in just a few years, you have to carefully research where you should buy your house.  This is especially important if you are buying a rental property because you want a property where the rent you charge each month will continue to increase every year rather than decrease.  You want to have a hot property.

If you are not tied to a specific geographical region, here are the top 5 real estate markets in the U.S.  (Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but buy a house in one of these areas, and your home is likely to appreciate, at least in the short term.)

San Diego, CA:  Coastal areas are leading the pack in reports on the top 10 or 15 housing markets with San Diego at the forefront.  Who wouldn’t enjoy the weather and the beach views?  Now that housing prices have reached their bottom and are just starting to inch up, buying a beach front home may be just the right financial move.

Portland, OR:  For those who are into a “green” lifestyle, Portland offers plenty of bike trails and has a good public transportation system.  Portland is also a college town, and there are people from all walks of life in this truly eclectic city.  Plus, who can complain about the mild weather, save the rainy season?

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Charlotte, NC:  This city is an excellent location for young, educated professionals or those who love the outdoors.  The winters are mild, and there is an active sports scene.  Nearby, there are 19 universities and college.  Whether you are with the banking industry or an entrepreneur, this may be the city for you.  While the population growth has increased housing demand, there are still reasonably priced areas.

Washington, D.C.:  A hub of young professionals, many of whom make $100,000 or more a year, plus an active military presence lead to a low unemployment rate in the nation’s capitol.  Add in the draw of all of the historic sites and professional sporting teams, and Washington, D.C.’s market continues to flourish while other markets stumble.  The wide range of architectural designs guarantees there is a home to fit any design preference.

New York, NY:  Most think the real estate market here bottomed out in 2009 and prices are starting to rebound.  The city that never sleeps is always a haven to young professionals, and where there is population, there is demand.

The bottom line is that it is a gamble wherever you buy a house, but there are certain areas that are “hotter” than others and will likely grow in the next decade.

Sources:,  U-T San Diego, Money, Washington Examiner

What other real estate markets are you interested in?