Total new-home closings: 6,234 
Population: 3,671,478 

The good: Rising average home sizes and prices per square foot push average sales prices over the $400,000 mark. 
The bad: Changes in mortgage requirements helped remove entry-level buyers from the new-home market. 
The bottom line: What changes among mortgages have taken away, a new class of buyers has filled in, proving this market can respond to new challenges. 

Changes in mortgage requirements in the first quarter of 2014 shifted entry-level home buyers out of the new-home market and into resale homes. The market responded with a downward shift, dropping 17.3% year over year for both single-family and attached residences in the third quarter of 2014. Builders adjusted, filling in new-home sales with move-up buyers and baby boomers, and pushing the average size of new homes from 2,380 square feet to 2,540 square feet year over year, from third quarter 2013 to third quarter 2014, along with per-square-foot prices, which jumped a whopping 47.9% in the same period. Together, they drove the median sales price for new homes from $370,200 to $422,400. All in all, this market's proved it can shift gears without giving up momentum.