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There’s no doubt Houston’s real estate market has been on fire in recent years, and the Urban Land Institute predicts 2014 will be even better than the year before.

The ULI ranked Houston the No. 2 market to watch in its “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014” reportThat’s up from No. 5 in 2013.

ULI’s reasoning is not that surprising: “Houston’s booming energy economy has fueled an active real estate market over the past few years, and survey respondents expect that to continue in the coming year.”

While Houston came in behind San Francisco on the overall list, it took the top spot for investment real estate. Houston is the No. 2 market for home-building prospects and No. 3 for development.

In the investment arena, survey respondents overwhelming ranked Houston a “buy” in all five property types: office, industrial, retail, apartments and hotel. Not surprisingly, the city saw its highest ranking in the apartment sector, ranking No. 1 on that list. Houston has seen a boom in apartment construction plans, the past few weeks, especially in the luxury arena.

The city’s highest score was in the industrial sector, but Miami beat it out for the No. 1 spot.

As Houston continues to expand in 2014, ULI expects housing, nonresidential construction and a revival in exploration industries to be the key economic drivers.

“Employment gains are projected to come from related manufacturing and professional services, as large companies relocate more of their headquarters operations to Houston,” ULI wrote. “Over the longer term, above-average population growth and expansion in energy, health-related and distribution industries will help propel above-average economic growth.”

Other Texas markets moved around the list, as well, with Dallas-Fort Worth jumping four spots to No. 5, and Austin slipping three spots to No. 7. San Antonio moved up from No. 19 to No. 14.

Source: Houston Business Journal

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