10 best U.S. cities for real-estate investors

1. Tucson, Ariz.

Opportunities abound for those interested in buying single-family homes, condominium or co-op units, and town homes as investments, with people scooping up properties at a discount and turning them into rental properties.

2. Austin, Texas

Compared with the rest of the country, home prices didn’t plummet in Austin — nor in many other parts of Texas, for that matter — when housing markets nationally went from boom to bust.

3. Kansas City, Mo.

Prices are recovering in Kansas City, and interested investors may want to consider acting soon, according to Realtor.com. The median list price for homes in Kansas City was $134,950 in February, an increase of nearly 4% when compared with a year ago.

4. Baltimore, Md.

Baltimore should find a bottom in home prices within the year, according to Realtor.com. One indication of stabilization in the market: The median list price was $239,500 in February, up more than 3% from last year

5. Fort Worth, Texas

Unemployment in Fort Worth is lower than the national average, and demand is driving home sales. Homes there are selling 20 times faster than last year.

6. Salt Lake City, Utah

Inventories are down more than 30% over the past year in Salt Lake City, and at $195,000 the median list price was up 5.46% in February, compared with a year ago, according to Realtor.com.

7. San Jose, Calif.

Those with the means to invest in Silicon Valley could do quite well, as growth in jobs has led to a housing shortage in the area. Because of high housing prices — the median list price in San Jose was $468,888 in February — many residents are renters.

8. Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh’s apartment-occupancy rate is at 95%, and its unemployment rate is below the national average. Single-home inventory is down by nearly 24% over the year, and the median list price was $215,000 in February, up 7.5% from a year ago.

9. Milwaukee, Wis.

With an unemployment rate of 6.9% at the end of the year, and a median list price of $175,000 in February, Milwaukee is a market that could recover quickly, according to Realtor.com. Inventory is down nearly 21%, compared with a year ago.

10. St. Louis, Mo.

Prices are still falling in St. Louis. And its rental market is softer than the rest of the country. But with a median list price of $159,000 in February, houses can still be bought at bargain prices.

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