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These are the best housing markets for 2013.

1. Houston, Tex.

·         Job growth: 3.6 percent

·         Vacancy rate: 3.0 percent

·         Construction permits: 15.4 per 1,000 homes

Houston is projected to be the nation’s strongest housing market in 2013. The area’s job market grew by 3.6 percent over the previous year through October — higher than any other major housing market. At 7.7 homes per 1,000 units, the area also had a larger foreclosure inventory than many of the other top markets for 2013. Asking prices also remained low despite growing demand at a median of just $86.03 per square foot — lower than most major markets. According to Trulia’s Kolko, “affordable home prices have attracted people and jobs to Houston, and in turn, we’ve seen strong construction activity continue there.” Commercial real estate is also booming, according to The New York Times, with especially high demand for properties in the Woodlands planned community.

2. San Francisco, Calif.

·         Job growth: 3.4 percent

·         Vacancy rate: 1.7 percent

·         Construction permits: 4.6 per 1,000 homes

The big thing going for the San Francisco housing market has been its job market, which grew by 3.4 percent during the first 10 months of the year. This was fourth-highest job growth of the top 100 metro areas. Even with the market taking a bigger hit than most during the housing downturn, it has made a comeback recently. Year-over-year asking prices as of the end of November were up 9.5 percent, among the best growth in the country. San Francisco homes were the most expensive on a square foot basis, with a median square foot asking price of $476.55 within the last 12 months.

3. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md.

·         Job growth: 2.8 percent

·         Vacancy rate: 1.2 percent

·         Construction permits: 6.7 per 1,000 homes

The 2.8 percent job growth in the first 10 months of 2012 was one of the highest rates in the United States. Area home prices have been pushed upwards by limited supply: the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick area had one of the nation’s lowest vacancy rates, at 1.2 percent in November, as well as one of its lowest foreclosure inventories, at just 2.7 homes per 1,000 units during October. Through November, the asking price per square foot for homes in the area was lower than only 14 other metro areas. Over the last year, asking prices have risen just 5.5 percent and median price per square foot was $169.15, slightly higher than Washington, D.C.

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via Best housing markets for 2013 – Business on NBCNews.com.