Look west for hot housing markets

Real estate investors interested in up-and-coming areas should look for multifamily homes in the West, according to one property manager.

The hottest markets include New York, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. Apartment vacancy rates have fallen as populations have grown and units converted to condos.

In addition, single people are increasingly living alone, according to Security Properties Managing Director Ed McGovern.

Portland, Ore., Seattle, Phoenix and Las Vegas are also getting more popular, he said.

Portland has been drawn young people with its cultural and recreational amenities. Phoenix's successful campaign to get companies such as Apple and Intel to establish operations there has lured many young, single job seekers—making apartments even scarcer.

About 42 percent of rentals in Seattle are occupied by just one person, versus 40 percent in San Francisco, McGovern said. The number of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. who live alone has risen to 5 million from about 500,000 in the 1950s, he added.

-By Althea Chang

-- Comments, Questions, Suggestions? Tweet Us @BigDataDownload