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Job growth. New construction. When it comes to hot U.S. housing markets, the two go hand-in-hand. Although home prices are still creeping up, the latest Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller 20-city index reports that they rose more slowly this February than a year ago. Many experts point to the harsh winter that kept home buyers in front of the fireplace rather than out buying another home, and are hoping that the spring market will heat up home sales.

Online real estate site company Zillow took a look at recent data and reports that this spring it’s a seller’s paradise in five areas of California, San Jose, San Francisco’s Bay Area, Riverside, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and two areas in Texas, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth. Other cities enjoying robust home sales include Seattle, Wash., Denver, Colo., and Washington, D.C.

And then there are the metro areas of Cleveland, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pa.enn., and Tampa, Fla., where homes are taking the longest to sell. Other places that offer more bargaining power for buyers include Chicago, Ill., Pittsburgh, Pa., Cincinnati, Ohio, New York City, Detroit, Mich., Baltimore, Md., and St. Louis, Mo.

Zillow says the strong job markets in the West are translating into bidding wars in some areas, while in the East homes sit on the market longer because housing is appreciating much slower than in the West.

Trulia – another online real estate site – says overall the South, Plains and Mountain states have strong real estate markets. They break it down even further, naming 10 areas Americans are choosing to call home. In each market, job prospects are hot and the sounds of new construction can be heard everywhere.

Many of TRC Global Solution’s’ clients have relocated to these areas, and we agree that all are attractive for relocation. Trulia’s hot spots follow, in alphabetical order:

  • Bethseda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., has been a booming market for the past decade, something most areas in the United States wish they could claim. It’s proximity to Washington, D.C., is a huge selling point. And last year job growth was up 2.2 percent.
  • Charlotte, N.C., is home to 270 Fortune 500 companies, so a job growth of 3.3 percent is no surprise. It’s a sprawling city, offering all types of neighborhoods, from charming historic sections to under-construction planned communities.
  • Denver, Colo., is flourishing thanks to a developing telecommunications industry and an already established casual restaurant industry. Jobs grew by 2.6 last year.
  • Fort Worth, Texas, is reveling in a 3.5 percent job growth and a robust real estate market where multiple bids are the norm because inventory is so low.
  • Nashville, Tenn., is Music City, second only to New York City in music production. But the biggest job supplier is the health-care industry, with at least 300 health-care companies settling here. Job growth is a strong 2.8 percent, which translates into brisk real estate sales.
  • Oklahoma City, Okla., claims a high rate of construction permit activity, up an amazing 42 percent in the last two decades. Job growth increased 2.3 percent last year, thanks to a wide range of industries including health services, insurance, IT, energy exploration and financial that are flooding the market.
  • Raleigh, N.C., north of Charlotte, is part of the Research Triangle with Durham and Chapel Hill, and has a job growth rate of 2.4 percent. It has made many top city lists, including the “Nation’s Fastest Growing Cities,” “The Best Run Cities in America,” “The Best Big Cities for Jobs” and “Biggest New Boom Towns.”
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, has a job-growth rate at 2.4 percent, and in addition to tourism, is home to many giants in their industries, including Sinclair Oil, Smith’s Foods and the Huntsman Corp.
  • Seattle, Wash., according to Trulia, is our nation’s sixth-strongest market for investment, development and homebuilding. A job growth rate of 2.5 percent, thanks to many high-tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, means lots of turnover in the real estate market.
  • Tulsa, Okla., has become a leader in the alternative energy industry translating into a 2 percent increase in jobs and a booming 100 percent increase in construction permits over the last two decades.

We’ll check back this fall to see how on target Zillow and Trulia are!

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