Third-best market: Topeka, Kan.
Projected 2012 price gains: 4.7%
Colpitts expects Topeka's rental market to do well in 2012 because of the area's high crop prices and low cost of living, "which makes
more affordable for many folks."
The capital of Kansas, 230,800-population Topeka has a diversified economy that revolves around agriculture, state government and other sectors.
Publicly traded companies that call the city home include
Capitol Federal Savings Bank
(CFFN - Get Report) and
(WR - Get Report)
-- which owns the Keds, Saucony, Stride-Rite and Sperry Top-sider brands -- also has headquarters in Topeka. So does Collective's Payless shoe-store subsidiary.
(GT - Get Report)
and other manufacturers also operate large factories in town, while Washburn University calls Topeka home.