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.
Score: 165.7 Silicon Valley's unofficial capital is seeing its housing market outperform the U.S. average in every measure studied. For instance, San Jose's foreclosure filings have dropped 90%, while median prices have rebounded 70% from the market's $370,000 bottom to reach $630,000. The metro area is also enjoying a better-than-average 6.9% unemployment rate, while just 9% of local homeowners are underwater. Blomquist attributes San Jose's rebound to Silicon Valley's successful tech companies -- and to the stock options that most firms give their employees. "The Facebook ( FB) initial public offering
Score: 167.6 New York's capital scored surprisingly well on RealtyTrac's analysis thanks to a 6.4% jobless rate -- the lowest of any metro area in the top five. "Even though Albany isn't known for a booming economy, its relatively low unemployment is helping to sustain the local housing market," Blomquist says. Foreclosure filings have dropped 63% from their worst levels, while just 9% of Albany homeowners are underwater -- the same low level found in red-hot San Jose. Albany's median home prices have also rebounded 44% from a $126,000 bottom in 2005 to hit $182,000.
Score: 168.1 Cape Coral had America's highest foreclosure rate during part of the housing bust, but Blomquist says the community has "bounced back more strongly than any other metro area in
Score: 217.4 This upstate New York community has been known in recent years for a struggling economy, but still takes RealtyTrac's crown for the No. 1 metro area leading America's housing recovery. Blomquist says Rochester's housing market "did not fall apart as badly as some cities did during the housing slump, so it hasn't had as far to recover." RealtyTrac found that the Flower City's median home prices have risen 93%, to $123,000, after bottoming out at just $63,697 in February 2007. Foreclosure filings have also dropped 68%, while only 7% of Rochester homeowners are underwater. Another plus: The metro area's 7% jobless rate is also below the U.S. average.