Projected median sales prices for single-family homes:
Q1 2008: $154,850
Q4 2009: $161,910
Growth rate: 4.6 percentDowntown Houston is also one of the places to be these days. The Texas oil capital is notorious for its suburban sprawl and horrendous traffic jams, but within the so-called Inner Loop bounded by Interstate 610 lies a new land of opportunity. That's where a multibillion-dollar expansion of Houston's medical center has spurred an influx of high-earning workers looking to live nearby.
Commuting to the center of the city has gotten worse in recent years, so suburbanites are flocking to the Inner Loop to snatch up older homes just for their lots and location. The trend is none too surprising, given that Houston is the only major U.S. city with no formal zoning code, which makes purchasing older houses and tearing them down to build whatever you want pretty easy. New homes on old lots start at about $1 million and reach as high as $4 million. Meanwhile, Big Oil is keeping Houston humming; the city added nearly 100,000 jobs last year.