Amid this week's financial and real estate market gloom and doom, there were a couple of bright spots for Texas.

A report published today by the Urban Land Institute, Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009, ranks Houston sixth and Dallas ninth on a list of the top ten "hot-growth" real estate markets. The report also advises investors in 2009 to go green, purchase distressed condos in urban areas near transit, and retrench on development and reorient to mixed-use and infill. It adds: "Higher-density residential with retail will gain favor in next round of building."

Meanwhile, RealtyTrac reports the number of U.S. homes foreclosed on in September was up 21% over last year, In Texas, however, foreclosures are down for September by a 15.4% decline from filings posted in August. And it gets better. The number of filings over September 2007 is down 37.4%.