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Top 10 markets to invest in analysis examines inventories, price trends and unemployment in 146 markets

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Built from data updated through February 2012, the report put Tucson, Ariz.; Austin, Texas; and Kansas City, Mo., as the top current real estate markets to invest in. The top 10 list was built by analyzing the housing inventories, price trends and unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 146 markets tracks.

Thanks to the jobs boom surrounding the University of Arizona and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and an 8.19 percent drop in real estate owned (REO) properties along with a 3.03 percent median house list-price increase from a year ago February, Tucson, Ariz., tops the list. A median price of $170,000 anchors the market.

Austin, Texas, the "live music capital of the world," with a median list price of $229,500, representing a 12 percent year-over-year increase, and low relative unemployment (6.3 percent as of December 2011), is a close No. 2 on’s top 10 markets to invest in. It’s usually a good idea to bet on breakfast tacos, live music and that laid-back Southwest charm that fuels the hip, beautiful capital of Texas.

Kansas City, Mo., too, features relatively low unemployment at 7.3 percent and a strong year-over-year median list price increase (4 percent) to bring the largest city in Missouri, and its renowned barbecue, into the top three housing markets to invest in, according to Its cross-state cousin, St. Louis, caps the list at No. 10, with its strong job market, 7.5 percent year-over-year median list-price increase and 11.29 percent uptick in rate of speed a house sells compared to a year ago.

Rounding out the top 10, in order, are: Baltimore, Md.; Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Jose, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C.; Milwaukee; and St. Louis.

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Location: Tucson, Ariz.


Median list price $175,000
Year-over-year price increase 3.03%
Percent faster time it takes to sell a house vs. last year 12%

San Xavier Del Bac Mission in Tucson, Ariz., via Shutterstock