BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- America's most-painful housing bust in history appears to be history itself -- and here's a look at five markets that are leading the way in today's nascent rebound.
"If you're looking for a strong market that's going to perform well going forward, I think you'll do well in any of these," says Daren Blomquist of market watcher RealtyTrac, which recently named the top Markets Leading the Housing Recovery.
RealtyTrac compiled its list by analyzing 100 of America's largest housing markets for seven factors, from how many homes institutional investors are buying to how high prices have rebounded from the bust's depths.
Blomquist says the locales at the top of the rankings either never had big foreclosure problems or have managed to clear most distressed properties out of their housing "pipelines."Many winners are also in or near California's booming Silicon Valley or -- more surprisingly -- upstate New York. Blomquist says that while New York's western and central region have long had reputations for sluggish economies, upstate cities that made RealtyTrac's list actually have lower jobless rates than the U.S. average. "Even though these cities may not have robust economies, their unemployment levels are performing better than the nation's," he says. Click below to check out the five metro areas that scored the best on RealtyTrac's rankings. (A score of 100 equals the national average for all factors analyzed.) All figures are as of June 30 and cover the 100 most-populous U.S. metro areas, except for cities in states where public property records don't include sale prices. Home-price numbers refer to median sale prices for houses, condos and townhouses, while "underwater" levels refer to how many homeowners whose properties aren't paid off owe more on their mortgages than their residences are worth. Fifth place: San Francisco
Score: 163.9 (100 = U.S. average) A shortage of buildable land, a surplus of people who want to live there and lots of jobs in nearby Silicon Valley are all helping San Francisco's housing market recover soundly.