Sure, the overall state of the housing market matters, but for all builders, except the 10 or so who are quasi-national, local market conditions are far more important. That's why Jonathan Smoke, Hanley Wood's chief economist and forecaster extraordinaire, has worked his mathematical magic to rank the 2014 market outlook for the top 100 metro housing markets. His ratings are based on the overall economic health of each market and expected growth in new home sales next year.

The two charts you'll see here rank the top 10 markets as well as the bottom 10. In a broad brush way you can say that almost all of the top 10 markets have a certain kind of destination quality and/or warm weather. With the bottom 10 it's hard to see or say what they have in common save that none are on the East, West or Gulf coasts.


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If you don't see your market among the top 10 (too bad) or the bottom 10 (lucky you) then click on the link to see the full listing of the 100 largest markets. And remember: you can succeed in a tough market, and you can fail in a good market. That's up to you.

View all of the outlook rankings here.