20 Hottest Markets in 2001

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NAHB economists rank housing markets for hotness by comparing residential building permit data with population numbers.

September 01, 2002

Market
Pop. (thousands)
Permits
Starts/1,000
1. Naples, Fla.
266
8,158
30.7
2. Fort Myers, Fla.
462
10,959
23.7
3. Greeley, Colo.
195
4,301
22.1
4. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
202
4,268
21.1
5. Las Vegas
1,661
31,938
19.2
6. Wilmington, N.C.
241
4,563
19.0
7. Sarasota, Fla.
610
9,648
15.8
8. Raleigh, N.C.
1,232
19,371
15.7
9. Atlanta
4,263
65,268
15.3
10. Charlotte, N.C.
1,545
22,419
14.5
11. Punta Gorda, Fla.
147
2,126
14.5
12. Boise, Idaho
452
6,517
14.4
13. Fort Collins, Colo.
259
3,664
14.1
14. Reno, Nev.
353
4,926
13.9
15. Orlando, Fla.
1,707
23,319
13.7
16. Phoenix
3,384
46,100
13.6
17. Greenville, S.C.
135
1,838
13.6
18. Austin, Texas
1,313
17,814
13.6
19. Colorado Springs, Colo.
533
7,116
13.3
20. Sioux Falls, S.D.
177
2,329
13.2

Source: NAHB Economics Department

NAHB economists rank housing markets for hotness by comparing residential building permit data with population numbers. Among these top 20 markets based on 2001 data, the first thing that jumps out is the number of smaller markets. The boonies really are booming. Who would think of Sioux Falls or Greeley as the land of opportunity? Southwest Florida is a hotbed with three of the top seven markets and four of the top 11. Baby boomers approaching retirement could have something to do with that. Colorado markets were jumping last year, with three on the list (and Denver poised on the edge at No. 21). However, those markets have slowed considerably this year. The Carolinas also look strong with five on the list.

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