Inman News, in a report released today, highlights 10 metro areas that data suggest are set to outshine many other markets in real estate performance this year.

The markets, which stretch from New York to Texas and include metros with populations above 150,000, were selected and ranked based on a range of demographic, economic and real estate market data, including real estate sales volume and median sales price appreciation.

Among the findings in this report, researched and written by Inman News reporter Andrea V. Brambila:

  • Three of the 10 markets on this list are state capitals, and both Illinois markets benefit from proximity to that state’s capital, Springfield.Four of the markets: Bloomington-Normal and Peoria in Illinois as well as Des Moines-West Des Moines and Waterloo-Cedar Falls in Iowa, are no more than 300 or so miles from each other.
  • Nine of 10 markets had median sales prices below the national median in the third quarter of 2011.
  • Where affordability rankings were available, the markets on the list had no less than 73.6 percent of homes affordable to those households earning the area’s median income in the third quarter.
  • All had unemployment, foreclosure, and vacancy rates lower than the national average. None of the markets had unemployment rates higher than 7.9 percent. All had lower shares of distressed sales than the national average.
  • Only two of the markets had populations above 1 million, and three had populations above 500,000. The remainder had populations below that figure, but above a minimum 150,000.
  • As in last year’s report, jobs in the public sector as well as the health care industry were major employers in most markets. This year, however, nine out of 10 markets also counted manufacturing companies among primary employers. Technology companies, energy providers, and universities also boosted many markets.

View the "Top 10 Markets to Watch in 2012" Report

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