Five West Coast industrial markets led a new ranking of the nation’s top investment opportunities as of the second quarter of 2003. The survey, conducted by investment sales firm Sperry Van Ness, was broken down between the best buying and selling markets of the 40 U.S. markets surveyed.

The top seller’s markets were San Jose, San Francisco, Ventura County, Marin County and Los Angeles. On the flipside, the top buyer’s markets were Dallas, Tampa, Orlando, Columbus and Houston.

"We’re advising our clients to be net sellers in high priced, low growth markets and be net buyers in the lowest priced markets with positive job growth," says John McDermott, Sperry Van Ness’ national director of office and industrial properties.

Sperry Van Ness relied on employment data to determine its rankings. San Jose’s employment growth during the first half of 2003 registered a negative 5.1%, while San Francisco posted negative 2.7%. On the buying side, Dallas saw a 0.2% decline in job growth over the first half of the year. Orlando, on the other hand, saw a 1.5% increase in job growth, the highest of all 10 markets in that group.