The Triangle, no stranger to being ranked at or near the top of various "Best of" lists, has a new accolade: healthiest housing market.
Builder Magazine has named the Raleigh-Cary area the healthiest of the 100 largest U.S. housing markets. Durham-Chapel Hill ranked third, behind No. 2 Austin, Texas.
While any positive housing news is welcome these days, the rankings are likely to elicit skepticism from those struggling to sell their homes. The Triangle has a 10-month supply of houses on the market measured by the pace of sales during the final three months of last year.
The rankings are based on a range of factors, including home price appreciation or depreciation, job growth, household and income growth, unemployment rates and building permit activity.
Raleigh-Cary got the top spot even though the magazine said home prices are expected to fall 10 percent this year "due to a spreading foreclosure problem."
The rankings reflect both the Triangle's resilience during the downturn and its outlook for growth, said Tim Minton, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.
"Clearly our market has been able to weather the storm better than most," he said. "Part of it is our prices never accelerated like other markets did so we've not had to recover from that part of it."
The question now is whether the Triangle's relative health compared to other markets will translate into a quicker recovery.
From a builder standpoint, the healthiest markets are ones where the issuing of new building permits is on the rise.
After falling dramatically in 2009, the Triangle saw permit activity recover somewhat last year.
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