Reuters

Trulia tracks where in-town buyers search for housing.

The bottom of the American housing market is nowhere in sight - according to Bloomberg, property values declined 3.7 percent in 20 cities between November 2010 and November 2011.

But to look exclusively at the forest is to miss some of the subtle differences between its trees. Super-smart neighborhoods in New York, Los Angeles, London and elsewhere have seen housing prices sky-rocket, driven not just by out-of-state buyers but by international ones. A Chinese buyer, for example, broke records when he purchased a Toronto condo for a record $28 million last year.

Like many other things, the housing market is spiky. That's why it’s useful to have leading indicators of trending locations. Trulia Metro Movers Winter 2012 report, released today, provides just this. The database tracks searches across American cities and metros.

One of the most interesting insights is a list of popular neighborhoods for locals. When out-of-towners search for a new home, they tend to look at the best-known (and priciest) neighborhoods: New York’s Tribeca, Los Angeles’s Beverly Hills and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Locals, on the other hand, tend to seek out housing in trendy (but less famous) 'hoods.

The map, above, shows inbound and outbound searches in Chicago. Trulia has more interactive maps here. Below, a slideshow of the most popular neighborhoods for locals in the country's biggest cities.

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