Rise of the forgotten housing markets

'Best of' lists reveal surprising trend for 'underdog' cities

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Earlier this year and last, a number of publications and Web sites attempted to make statistical sense of the country’s housing markets by publishing lists: the best housing markets, the worst real estate markets, America’s strongest housing markets, etc.

After scrutinizing a number of these charts, I finally came to the conclusion that the turmoil in the real estate, mortgage, credit and financial markets over the past three years has turned urban demography upside down. Whatever you thought you knew about growth, metro expansion plans and cities that attract the most move-ins is probably widely incorrect at this point in time.