RealtorMag reports a study by Builder Magazine and Hanley Wood Market Intelligence says urban areas with large universities, military bases, and strong private sector employment will drive the eight healthiest housing markets in 2012. Based on expected price appreciation, population growth, income growth, and improving employment picture, and factoring in Moody’s Economy housing projections, Minneapolis-St. Paul MN tops the list. Home prices are expected to increase eight percent, employment to grow 2.5 percent, and building permits to more than double. Second is Fort Collins-Loveland, CO, where households are anticipated to increase by 2.7 percent, employment to grow 2.6 percent, and building permits to rise 50 percent. Salt Lake City ranks third. With its high-tech businesses, employment and income will grow and housing prices are expected to rise 4.7 percent. Jacksonville, FL will see building permits double, employment rise 3.2 percent, and housing prices increase five percent. Fifth is Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL where two major projects, CitiCentre and Resorts World Miami, will add tens of thousands of jobs, and housing permits are expected to double. Sixth on the list is Charlottesville, VA, home to the U. of Virginia, and a second home-buyer mecca from the Washington, D.C. area where median income is expected to rise 3.7 percent. Colorado Springs, CO is seventh with its military bases and Air Force Academy where employment, income, and housing demand will increase when the troops return from Afghanistan. Oklahoma City, in the eighth spot, will see building permits increase by 50 percent, income to gain three percent, and housing prices to rise 2.6 percent.
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