Second-shortest break-even period: Miami/Fort Lauderdale
The Miami/Fort Lauderdale metro area is another market that fell sharply during the housing bust but is snapping back -- meaning buyers can expect good future price appreciation and short break-even periods.
Zillow estimates that median home values rose 12.1% there over the past year to reach $159,000, with another 4.1% increase expected over the coming 12 months.
Gudell says that when you add in the fact that the metro area's $1,624 median estimated rent is "relatively high compared to home values," buying a home there "looks very attractive."
You can check out some 3,500 properties currently available in and around Miami by