Inman News examined housing, economic and demographic data for metropolitan areas nationwide in compiling a list of 10 housing markets that are showing signs of strength and may outperform other housing markets in 2011 in several key metrics. Inman News also asked a host of real estate search and data companies to share research and methodology to identify high-performing real estate markets across the U.S.
Real estate markets in the Midwest and Northeast dominated a list of 10 fast-rising real estate markets nationwide identified in the Inman News analysis, as many markets in the Sun Belt states are still struggling through the housing downturn.
The Midwest and Northeast U.S. accounted for eight of 10 markets on the list: Bismarck and Fargo, N.D.; Des Moines, Iowa; Bloomington-Normal, Ill.; Elmira and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine; and Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.
The other two markets on the list: Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash.; and the Washington, D.C., metro area.
Nationwide, unemployment is high, home prices are flat and trending lower since the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credits, and overall sales fell last year compared to the prior year.
Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow, said it's unlikely that "substantial price appreciation" will occur "in any market nationwide in the near term." Rather, the company identified some "stabilizing" markets in a chart provided for this report.