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Despite the housing crunch sweeping the United States, there are many cities that are viable for investment. Recently, NuWire analyzed data from 98 cities nationwide in order to determine the top 10 places to invest in the U.S.

Five of the 10 cities on this list are in Texas. Because Texas real estate did not appreciate as dramatically as in other areas, Texas has largely avoided the devastating market crashes that have hit the rest of the country so hard. On the whole, the Texan economy remains strong, buoyed further by high energy prices.

"While there will be some short-term pain from reduced construction and layoffs, the state economy's continued expansion, along with attractive home prices, bodes well for the Texas housing industry's future,” D’Ann Petersen, regional analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said on the bank’s website.

NuWire considered many factors when ranking cities, including population and job growth, home values, owner costs, vacancy rates and unemployment rates. More weight was given to overall affordability and rent strength than to other factors.

Average of All 98 Cities
• Population Growth, 2000-2006: 4.2%
• Population Density: 4,613.27 per square mile
• Median Home Value: $248,228
• Monthly Owner Costs (upkeep only): $441
• Monthly Mortgage Payment
     (80% LTV, 30-year at 6.5%): $1,255.17
• Median Household Income: $44,656
• Homeowner Vacancy Rate: 2.9%
• Rental Vacancy Rate: 8.8%
• Median Gross Rent: $788
• Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
• Job Growth, 2000-2006: 5.15%
• Affordability, on a scale of 1-10: 6
• Rent Strength, on a scale of 1-10: 5

Affordability was determined by comparing median income for the area to average expenses, including an average monthly mortgage payment (80 percent LTV, 30-year term at a fixed 6.5 percent interest rate). Rent strength was calculated by taking into account gross rental income, the prevailing vacancy rate for rental homes and average ownership expenses. Affordability and rent strength have been ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most desirable.


The Top 10 Places to Invest are:

1. San Antonio, Texas
2. Garland, Texas
3. Montgomery, Alabama
4. Lubbock, Texas
5. Laredo, Texas
6. Fort Wayne, Indiana
7. Baton Rouge, Lousiana
8. Fort Worth, Texas
9. Wichita, Kansas
10. Shreveport, Louisiana