Las Vegas. Miami. San Diego. Phoenix. Real estate markets in these cities, among others, were popularized as pay dirt during the latest real estate Gold Rush -- with sky-high price appreciation, fast sales and droves of investors seeking a slice of the action. That was then. Now, real estate economists are singing a different tune. The U.S. housing market is clearly slowing down, and formerly hot markets are the "not" markets. But some markets do not march to the beat of the national trends. While several industry economists have said they expect home sales to drop this year compared to 2005 levels, with slowing rates of price appreciation, some parts of the country are running counter to this down cycle. Mark Dotzour chief economist for The Real Estate Center, a research center at Texas A&M University, said he gave a presentation earlier this year to a group of Texas mortgage professionals in which he asked how many of them had recently closed a mortgage loan for a California res...
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