Top three healthiest U.S. housing markets in 2013

It's a new year, and that means it's time to start thinking about what to expect from the housing industry as it continues its fragile recovery. For people looking to buy or sell a home this year, there are a number of cities that experts are predicting will have healthy housing markets in 2013.

Real estate research group Trulia released a list of the best housing markets in the country based on factors such as employment, foreclosures, home sales and prices. Let's take a look at the top three:

1. Houston, Texas – The number of homes for sale in this Lone Star State city have hit record-lows over the last few months due to high demand, indicating that many people want to live in this eastern Texas metropolitan area. The main reason its housing market is expected to be so healthy in 2013 is due to the city's impressive job growth.

2. San Francisco, California – Voted the second least affordable housing market in the country by the National Association of Home Builders, this northern California city will likely see positive numbers in 2013. The Urban Land Institute recently predicted that San Francisco will lead the country's real estate market in development, investment and homebuilding.

3. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Maryland – With a notably low foreclosure rate of 2.7 homes per 1,000, this East Coast area also shows the potential for strong job growth in 2013. Additionally, it's close to Washington D.C., a city whose strong housing market recovery will probably help boost surrounding areas.

With these 2013 real estate hotspots in mind, lenders may want to invest in loan management software to ensure that as borrowers take out mortgages, they can stay on top of their monthly payments.