Given the difficulty of trending the home building market, it’s only fitting that the five experts we asked for the first five housing markets to recover picked an ersatz grab-bag of markets from the Great Plains, the Deep South, and even the Industrial Midwest. There’s something for nearly every builder in here. That said, the esteemed prognosticators managed to agree on a few early bloomers. Several were bullish on Washington DC, where federal spending is likely to boost employment in the short run, and Dallas, an affordable market that continues to churn out good jobs.
The experts steered clear of bubble markets, for the most part, with the exception of one analyst who thought Sacramento would come back early since it dropped early. They looked for homes to industries—medical, energy, biotech--that are likely to benefit from stimulus or government spending. And they carefully considered whether home pricing in a market had “corrected.”
While several of the selected markets showed up on our list of The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009, published two months ago, others were conspicuously absent. Top-ranked Houston, for instance, which appears to be going through a correction, didn’t make anyone’s list of the first to rebound.