New Rules of Real Estate 2007

How to play the real estate bounce-back

The housing market may be melting down, but Business 2.0 worked with Moody's Economy.com to identify 10 cities that have just about hit rock bottom - and offer opportunities for savvy investors to get in while the getting's good.

Austin
Austin
Projected median sales prices for single-family homes:

Q1 2008: $186,350
Q4 2009: $195,060
Growth rate: 4.7 percent

In Austin, the rental market takes a backseat to buyers, many of whom hold high-paying jobs with tech giants like Dell, IBM, and Freescale Semiconductors. Austin's population is well educated - 40 percent have a university degree - and the Texas capital ranks among the top major metropolitan areas for business startups per capita. Austin also has the highest percent age of residents in the coveted 25- to 34-year-old demographic and, not coincidentally, the highest concentration of live music venues in the country. The labor market is so hot that shortages of engineers and product managers are driving double-digit wage hikes in those occupations.

But unlike other creative-class capitals, Austin doesn't price white-collar talent out of the housing market. At $200,000, the median sales price for a single-family home is about a third of that in San Francisco. But the gap is starting to close: While home prices in San Francisco have barely budged since the market peaked in 2005, prices in Austin have risen by 6 percent. That has prompted major builders to lay groundwork for some of the largest new master-planned communities in the country - at the very time that competitors are fleeing other Sun Belt metros.

Dallas-Fort Worth

Indianapolis

New Orleans

Atlanta

Montgomery

Memphis

Mobile

Austin

Houston

St. Louis
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.