Real estate is funny. Historically, it's been one of the best ways to build wealth, yet it scares the pants off most people. Everyone has an uncle or cousin who "lost big" in one of the real-estate crashes, yet admit it: A part of you still wants to invest.
The truth is, real estate can definitely be dangerous. However, with proper education, patience and a little bit of luck, big wealth can be made through real-estate investing. Oh, and one more thing helps: location.
Some areas naturally do better. That's why we at BiggerPockets.com recently put our heads down in data for months to develop an algorithm that looks at all the major markets in America in an attempt to determine what the best and worst locations have been recently for real-estate investors. We call this "The BiggerPockets Real Estate Investment Market Index."
This index seeks to determine which of the 50 most populous U.S. metro markets were most likely to have provided strong returns for residential real-estate investors between early 2014 and early 2015. This index measures both appreciation and gross rents as a percentage of average purchase prices.
Within the dates studied by the index, let's look at the 10 biggest real estate winners.