NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- The U.S. housing market's stormy times appear to be spilling into 2012 -- but a few silver linings are beginning to poke through the clouds.
Market tracker HousingPredictor.com forecasts a 3.9% drop in median home prices nationwide this year, but its annual Best 25 Housing Markets study actually foresees values rising in dozens of locales.
Study author Mike Colpittts says most areas with increasing prices have economies that focus on food or energy production, two sectors that are booming amid today's generally rising commodities values.
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"Energy rich states like North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas are doing better on the whole and make up a good number of cities in the best 25 markets," Colpitts says. "The Midwest is also doing much better because of farming."
Here's a look at the five cities HousingPredictor.com believes will enjoy the biggest gains in median home prices this year: