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San Diego has residential neighborhoods to watch

San Diego ranks No. 2 in hottest emerging neighborhoods across the United States, according to Redfin.

The Seattle-based technology-powered real estate broker announced a list of the top neighborhoods and small cities to watch for real estate in 16 cities across the country. December 2011 data was compared with 2012 data.

Redfin studied 48 emerging neighborhoods in 16 major metro areas expected to have the largest price increases this year. In San Diego County, San Marcos, Eastlake and Mira Mesa were looked at.

In Mira Mesa, listings fell 69 percent, sales went up 48 percent and prices spiked 21 percent.

The No. 1 area was Los Angeles' Highland Park, an ethnic northeastern part of the city that experienced a 48 percent drop in inventory,73 percent rise in sales and 31 percent rise in price.

The ranking was based on input from Redfin real estate agents and analysis of current data in the number of homes for sale, sales volume, home prices, and sales-to-list price ratios.

Two other L.A. neighborhoods took the No. 3 and 4 spots. Seven of the top 10 were in California.

Most analysts now agree that 2012 was the bottom for the housing market, and 2013 is likely to usher in further gains in both home prices and sales, according to the Redfin report. This analysis identifies areas on the upswing that have not yet peaked, where there is still good value and plenty opportunity for growth.

For 16 markets across the country, Redfin's local real estate agents collaborated with its analytics team to identify the neighborhoods where it expects prices to rise the most this year, based on activity from about 10,000 active homebuyers, and data from more than 130,000 listings.

"The results surprised us: the hottest neighborhoods aren't the well-known bastions of privilege," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "They're once-gritty urban areas and far-flung suburbs with school districts on the rise."

That is the surest sign that the recovery is broadening, and that home-buyers are venturing out to once-marginal areas hit hard when the bubble burst, he noted.

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