Anyone looking for evidence that the housing recovery, when it comes, will be uneven need look no further than our list of markets on the Builder Market Health Index.
Some markets at the top of the list appear poised for recovery this year. Price adjustments have been worked out, employment levels are rising, and excitement has returned to the real estate market.
But scroll to the bottom of the list and you'll find markets still searching for a bottom. In these places foreclosures are still taking their toll on home values, unemployment is high, and builders continue to curtail permit activity.
Our sister organization, Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, uses projections for employment, household formation, income, and home values to determine the healthiest and weakest markets for 2010. The analysis is limited to the top 100 home building markets in the United States, based on permit activity.
Previous stories listed the 20 healthiest markets and the second tier (21 through 40), along with an analysis of each market. In this story we provide the complete list of the top 100 markets. Most builders throughout the country should be able to find a nearby market for comparison purposes.
None of these markets are healthy in the way they were at the top of the home building cycle, with rising employment, incomes, home values, and population, pushing housing starts northward. Even the top two markets on the list, Austin and Raleigh, have at least one blemish, though they still manage to score about 50, the threshold for a healthy, not weak, market.
But markets that top the list are a lot better off than places like Miami and Tampa, where prices are expected to decline another 18% this year; or Phoenix and New Orleans, which are expected to experience big job losses in 2010.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: New Orleans, LA.