5 Best Markets For Real Estate Investments
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Best Markets For Real Estate Investing

Positive signs keep coming out about the U.S. residential housing market. The latest statistics detailed that buying activity on previously owned homes, including those in foreclosure or through the short sale process, increased again in May and is now at its fastest growth rate over the past 24 months. Here is an overview of five markets where home prices remain quite reasonable at around $100,000. The outlook continues to improve for future sales in these areas, so now is a good time to buy.

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Atlanta didn't get too much press during the bursting of the housing bubble, but its average home price has taken a nearly 38% tumble from peaks reached in June 2007, according to data from housing website Zillow. The current average home value is very affordable at just below $109,000, though trends continue to be somewhat weak. Prices have fallen nearly 12% over the past year. The average rent in Atlanta is right around $1,100, which makes renting very affordable. However, with housing prices still depressed, buying could make sense in the current environment.

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Dallas, as well as most major metropolitan areas in Texas, never experienced a severe drop in housing prices or jump in foreclosures at the height of the housing crisis. Zillow estimated that Dallas home prices peaked in October 2007, but are down only 16% from their highs. The current average home price is quite affordable at just over $121,000. The average monthly rent was recently listed at just below $1,300 and indicates that buying a house versus renting could be a smart decision in today's market.

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Las Vegas

In stark contrast to Big D in Texas, Las Vegas was one of the worst hit housing markets during the housing debacle. Prices peaked in April 2006 and have fallen a whopping 63% over 2011 to roughly $111,000. Renting is also very affordable in Vegas at just over $1,150 per month.

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Home values in the Phoenix area were among the first to peak. According to Zillow, this occurred around March 2006. Phoenix was also one of the most overheated and has seen values fall around 56% to about $124,000. As in Atlanta and Vegas, rents are quite reasonable at just over $1,100, but depressed home prices and strong demographic trends, including immigration and retirees that continue to move to Phoenix, bode well for future housing trends.

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Tampa, Fla.

Miami is in fast recovery mode thanks to a steady influx of foreign buyers, but Tampa, Fla. remains in the doldrums. Prices are down nearly 53% from the June 2006 peak and currently stand around $103,000. This makes the city one of the most affordable in the country. Values are still down close to 8% over 2011. Rents are also very affordable at right around $1,150, making either buying or renting a pretty compelling decision for those in the market.

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The current trends for the U.S. housing market are encouraging. Combined with record low interest rates, homeowners and investors that pick up a property in the next little while could really be sitting pretty within the next few years.

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