Sunday, June 17, 2007

10 Red-hot Spots for New Homes

According to, these areas are the hottest spots for new homes.
Here is the excerpt:

10 Red-hot Spots for New Homes
Texas leads the pack in residential construction

By Diane Benson Harrington

New residential construction is booming in areas such as Phoenix, Ariz. and Atltanta, Ga.

Though the new-home sales are down by 3.9 percent so far this year — the lowest they’ve been since summer of 2000 — new residential construction is still thriving in some areas of the country. The 2002-to-2005 building boom caused too many developers and builders to get a little ahead of themselves.

“In many places, you’ll find there was over-building and over-pricing,” says Bernard Markstein, senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders. Those are the communities where sales are down now. But in other areas, builders were more measured. “These are essentially working places. Employment prospects remain good (in these cities), and population continues to move in there,” Markstein explains.

That’s allowed the new-home market to continue to do well — and retain a broad range of prices — even though building costs are generally increasing as much as 6 percent nationwide each year, Markstein says.

According to a recent study by, Texas tops the ranking of the nation’s residential biggest building site, with new-home communities that offer the most plans. Nevada is a contender as far as the count for communities. However, when it comes to plan choices available on Move, it’s outranked by the likes of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

For the best deals in new homes, head to the cities that are watching sales nose-dive. But for a terrific variety in both home styles and price ranges, check out these top-selling communities:

San Antonio, Texas
About 2-1/2 hours from the Gulf of Mexico and only slightly further from the Mexican border, San Antonio — home of The Alamo and the beautiful River Walk district — is a historical favorite in south central Texas.

San Antonio employers added 8,600 new jobs in the fourth quarter of 2006, many of them in government, trade/transportation/utilities, and education and health services.

Jacksonville, Florida
One of the largest cities — geographically speaking, at 874 square miles — in the continental United States, Jacksonville has thrown out its welcome mat for nearly 1 million residents. The average age here is 35. The vast majority of residents are white, followed by half again as many blacks. The median family income is more than $52,000.

Despite a 7 percent sales tax, the local Chamber of Commerce bills Jacksonville as the most affordable city in Florida. One of its greatest benefits is no state income tax.

Jacksonville is the nation’s 14th best market in terms of job growth, expanding its work force by 9.2 percent (more than 52,000 jobs) between 2001 and 2006, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal. With plenty of large employers here — including the Naval Air Station, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Mayo Clinic and Citibank — Jacksonville offers ample job opportunities.

Charlotte, North Carolina
If you’d like to be in the mountains or at the beach in less than two hours, Charlotte is a great location — equidistant between Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Asheville, N.C. In fact, if you live in Charlotte, you can reach about half the nation’s population within just one hour in a plane or one day in a car, according to

Because Charlotte is the center of the largest consolidated rail system, it’s transformed into a major distribution and transportation hub, adding to its reputation as a regional financial center (home to Wachovia and Bank of America). An inland port facility and foreign trade zone also make the city appealing to foreign companies who want a U.S. presence. The Charlotte area also has attracted several large contractors that do business with the nation’s Defense Department.

Phoenix, Arizona
With more than 1.6 million residents, this southwestern mecca has become the fifth largest city in the United States. The metro area has 3.7 million residents. It may be in a desert, but the city is more than 1,000 feet above sea level, and the average annual temperature is 72.6 degrees.

Known as a transportation, distribution and high-tech manufacturing hub, Phoenix added 67,000 new jobs between 2004 and 2005. The highest-growth industries in the area are health care, professional services, construction and tourism. Banner Health System, the U.S. Postal Service, Wal-Mart, Intel and Honeywell are among the top employers. Arizona State University is in nearby Tempe.

The typical resident is 30.7 years old with a household income of more than $42,000. More than 55 percent of residents are white, and 34 percent are Hispanic.

Atlanta, Georgia
The undisputed hub of the South, Atlanta offers everything from a major league baseball team to the CNN headquarters. Four distinct seasons — though with short winters and summers — make for mild living year-round.

While the city itself has only about half a million residents, the larger metro area recently surpassed 5 million residents — making this one of the fastest growing areas in the country. The median resident age is about 32, with about 61 percent of residents black and 31 percent white. The typical income is about $40,000.

Atlanta’s pro-business climate has attracted more than 2,000 businesses, including several Fortune 500 companies. Top employers include Delta Airlines, Publix Supermarkets, BellSouth, Turner Broadcasting and Cox Newspapers. Coca-Cola is also a well-known fixture. Services, trade and manufacturing are all well represented here. Atlanta is also making inroads as an international hub for business and trade, with more than 1,300 foreign-based businesses here.

Rancho Cordova, California
A growing city 12 miles east of Sacramento in northern California, Rancho Cordova borders the American River and is near historic Gold Country and the Sierra Foothill Wine Country.

The year-round mild climate and thriving business environment have attracted 60,000 residents (although the Sacramento metro area has nearly 1.7 million people). The city’s median age is 31.9, and at least half the residents have completed some college. More than 64 percent are white, about 13 percent Hispanic and 11 percent black. The median family income is about $47,000, yet the state income tax is a whopping 9.3 percent, and the local sales tax is 7.75 percent.

Government and transportation are among the area’s biggest workforce sectors. Finance, information, technology, leisure and hospitality, education, health services, and construction rank high, too. Nearby Sacramento is home to Intel and Hewlett-Packard, and Rancho Cordova employers include Vision Service Plan (ranked by Money magazine as one of the state’s best employers).

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Downstate from Denver, Colorado Springs scored at the top of Money magazine’s Best Big Cities list last year. With about 370,000 residents, the median age is 33.6 years, and the population is predominantly (more than 75 percent) white. The winter-lover’s climate and proximity to Pike’s Peak have created a nice tourism base.

But far and away, the U.S. Army’s Fort Carson is the city’s largest employer. That and other military installations (an Air Force base, the Air Force Academy and NORAD) employ about one-fifth of the city’s population. As a center for space research, Colorado Springs attracts plenty of high-tech companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Intel. Other industries are represented by firms like T. Rowe Price (financial), RockShox (mountain bike equipment manufacturer), Focus on the Family (ministry and publishing), and many others.

Colorado Spring’s sales tax is 7.4 percent, and the state income tax rate is 4.63 percent. The median family income is higher than most of the others on our list, at $60,131. The property tax rate is about .4 percent, putting the yearly median bill at less than $1,000.

Grove City, Ohio
Just southwest of Columbus (Ohio’s capital) and about 60 miles from Dayton, quaint Grove City’s population grew substantially throughout the ’90s. The median age is 35, the population is more than 95 percent white, and the household income averages $55,000. The state income tax is 7.19 percent. The city itself has about 30,000 residents, and the larger Columbus metro area has nearly 2 million.

Top employers in the Columbus area include Owens Corning Newark, NetJets, Chemical Abstracts, Qwest Communications and Alliance Data Systems, among many others.

Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Part of the East Coast metropolitan corridor, Pottstown is on the Schuylkill River, set among the rolling, green hills of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, about 15 miles southeast of Reading and 32 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Its 21,859 residents average 36 years old, with 79 percent white and 15 percent black. The median family income was $45,734 in 2000. Residents pay a 7.76 percent state income tax and 6 percent sales tax.

Among the Reading area’s top employers are Baldwin Hardware, Carpenter Technology Corp., East Penn Manufacturing Co., and Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products. The area also is home to Sovereign Bancorp, Surgical Specialties, Godiva Chocolatier, and R.M. Palmer (maker of chocolate Easter bunnies and novelty candies).

Summerville, South Carolina
Set on a pine forest ridge outside of Charleston, Summerville originally was populated by those trying to escape the Low Country’s summer heat. It’s known for its abundant pine trees and hundreds of azaleas.

The city has about 38,000 residents, while the Charleston metro area has nearly half a million. In Summerville, the median age is about 34 years old, and 76 percent are white, with 19 percent black. The estimated household income is more than $50,000.

Major employers in the greater Charleston area include the U.S. Navy and Air Force, CareAlliance Health Services, Piggly Wiggly, Westvaco Corp, and Robert Bosch Corp.

Copyright by Move, Inc.

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