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Charlotte, N.C.
Median home price: $200,000
Drop since market peak: 14.9%
Forecast gain by 9/2012: 2.5%

Economic confidence is swelling in this financial-services center as planned corporate expansion and relocations hold the promise of job growth, according to Emma Littlejohn, a Charlotte-based consultant to the condo-development industry.

The recent announcement that the 2012 Democratic National Convention will be held there hasn't hurt, either.

The clearest indication that residential real estate is on the road back is the multiple bids that developable land is attracting. "The good properties are moving," said Littlejohn.

That will come out as a slow-but-steady rebound in home prices, according to Fiserv's forecast, with the median home selling for about 3% more late in 2012 than it sold for 12 months earlier.

NEXT: New Haven, Conn.
Last updated February 07 2011: 5:51 PM ET
Source: Fiserv; based on cities with a population of 500,000 or more.
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