The turnaround in the housing market, which has been predicted by experts every year since 2007, didn’t happen again last year. House prices kept falling, pressured by foreclosures that, while receding, remain a lingering presence in too many markets. Customers remained on the sidelines, still uncertain about the economy and their jobs. And even if these customers wanted to buy, the banks were too tight-fisted. But there was evidence that unemployment and mortgage lending were finally easing. And ever-optimistic builders in certain markets—even in Florida—reported seeing more people flowing through their sales offices, leading more builders to join the chorus calling for a full-blown recovery by 2013.

2011 Builder 100