SOURCE: SmartZip, Inc.

SmartZip, Inc.

August 11, 2009 08:00 ET

SmartZip Announces Top-Rated Real Estate Investment Markets

SmartZip Top 10 Markets Most Likely to Yield Above-Average Returns

PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - August 11, 2009) - SmartZip, Inc., a leading provider of investment ratings and analysis for residential real estate, today announced the first release of the SmartZip Top 10 Markets™, a featured list of top-rated cities most likely to yield above-average investment returns over the next ten years. Candidates for the SmartZip Top 10 Markets list were identified using SmartZip's proprietary ratings methodology, SmartZip Score™, which quantitatively rated the investment potential of all homes in each market. Finalists were then hand-picked by SmartZip's analysts in conjunction with local market experts. The quantitative analytics and 'on-the-ground' local conditions are captured in SmartZip Market Insight Reports on each market, which can be downloaded from SmartZip.com.

SmartZip, which launched its public beta site in June 2009, currently rates over 15 million properties -- including listings, foreclosures as well as non-listed homes -- across California and Florida, two of today's most opportunity-rich markets for real estate investment. This first release of the SmartZip Top 10 Markets includes seven cities in California and three in Florida. As SmartZip rolls out its ratings to all 50 US states over the next year, the SmartZip Top 10 Market list will also expand to highlight the best investment cities across the nation.

"The Top 10 markets further highlight the value of SmartZip Score, which applies proven bond and stock rating analytics to measure a property's risk-adjusted investment potential," said Avi Gupta, vice president of marketing at SmartZip. "As investors and home buyers move to capitalize on the current generational opportunity to invest in real estate, our Top 10 markets can show them the way, guiding them to places and properties that are not just good deals, but also financially sound purchases."

A common theme that makes the Top 10 markets most likely to outperform others is their strong balance of economic and investment fundamentals, captured in the SmartZip Score ratings. Most of these cities, such as Bakersfield, CA, and Port St. Lucie, FL, are projected to have above-average job and population growths. Top cities like Coral Springs, FL, and Roseville, CA, have school, safety and lifestyle ratings that are among the best in the nation. Almost all cities have home prices that are significantly depressed from their peaks, making homes a lot more affordable, sometimes below replacement cost. And their large tenant pools strengthen rents and minimize vacancy rates, resulting in attractive cash flows. This unique combination of low up-front investment, steady monthly income and potential for long-term appreciation makes these cities not just highly desirable places to live, but also the best markets to invest in.

Hialeah, FL, one of the Top 10 markets, has seen its transformation from an agricultural municipality to a thriving suburb, centrally located to the job and cultural hub of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale metros. "SmartZip's analytical findings are spot on," echoed Joel Milian, Broker-Associate of Keller-Williams Realty, and a 30-year resident of the city. "Hialeah's blended real estate infrastructure, consisting of residential, business, commercial and recreational uses, its unbeatable location, and the influx of jobs make for a very strong investment market driven by a demand for affordable housing for median income earners."

For more information on the SmartZip Top 10 Markets, to search listings and foreclosures in these markets, to research and compare other real estate markets, or to get the SmartZip Score investment rating on any property in CA or FL, go to www.SmartZip.com.

About SmartZip, Inc.

SmartZip is the leading provider of independent ratings and analysis for real estate investment. SmartZip is used by investors and homebuyers looking to easily rate, compare and confirm the best places and properties to buy. SmartZip Score™ is the first and only quantitative rating offering a risk-adjusted assessment of the investment potential of residential properties. SmartZip Score applies proven stock and bond rating analytics to the most comprehensive base of real estate investment attributes ever assembled. SmartZip is a privately held, venture-backed corporation headquartered in Pleasanton, CA.

SmartZip, SmartZip Score and SmartZip Top 10 Markets are trademarks of SmartZip, Inc.

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