A recent survey of more than 1,800 real estate professionals has indicated that 2012 might represent the end of the down real estate market and the start of a rebound, with 10 specific local markets expected to lead the way. The biggest challenges facing the recovering market, agents said, will be short sales, loan qualification rules and foreclosures. (What? these are the best parts!)

Collected from among the more than 220,000 ActiveRain real estate professional community members, the survey highlighted which specific markets across the United States held the most optimism for growth among real estate agents as well as which markets were expected to continue struggling into 2013.

An infographic and deeper summary of the survey’s findings can be downloaded at

“Real estate is a deeply local business, so it’s no surprise to see such differences in optimism and pessimism between agents in vastly different market conditions,” said Nikesh Parekh, chief executive officer for ActiveRain. “But the fact that, as a group, they expect improvement during 2012 is a good sign for the real estate industry and for the economy overall.”

Below is a list of real estate markets ranked by real estate agent confidence, according to the survey:

Top Real Estate Markets

1. Fort Myers – Naples
2. Austin
3. Boise
4. San Antonio
5. Miami – Fort Lauderdale
6. Denver
7. Dallas – Fort Worth
8. Nashville
9. Houston
10. Salt Lake City

Worst Real Estate Markets

1. Reno
2. Sacramento
3. Chicago
4. New York
5. Providence, RI
6. Springfield, MO
7. San Diego
8. Los Angeles
9. Cleveland
10. Philadelphia

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