• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Four Va. cities named as top-20 housing markets in US

Twice annually, Builder Magazine puts out a list of the healthiest housing markets in the United States, based on projections that drive housing production–jobs, price appreciation, population growth, and income growth. The projections come from Moody’s Economy.com.

Earlier this year, markets in Texas and the Carolinas dominated the list looking at 2011 market-level forecasts, thanks to growth in the oil economy in the case of Texas, and strong population growth in the case of the Carolinas. Both regions also had on their side a recovery in home prices as they worked through foreclosure issues.

Economic conditions in the oil patch aren’t quite as favorable today. And some bloom has come off the rose in the Carolinas, where home prices in some markets have double-dipped. As a result, our forward-looking view of the 20 healthiest markets is a little different today.

Rising home prices, job gains, and improvement in median incomes will drive the healthiest markets over the next year and a half. Moody’s projects that permit activity may double in some of the very hottest of these markets, as the long-awaited housing recovery takes hold.

Markets that benefit from military spending, or major universities, once again crowd the top of our list. Some markets hit the trifecta with military bases, big universities, and strong private sector employment. But several of the state capitals that appeared on previous versions of the list have dropped to the bottom due to fiscal problems that resulted in layoffs.

Four Virginia regions were named  as being in the country’s top 20 housing markets: Charlottesville (#6), Virginia Beach (#12), the Washington DC area (#14), and Richmond (#15).

#6: Charlottesville, Va.

Charlottesville isn’t a very big housing market, but it’s a pretty strong one. Home to the University of Virginia, the region has benefited from some strong household growth in recent years. It continues to attract second-home buyers from Washington, D.C.

Bargains are tough to come by in Charlottesville, where the median home price in August stood just below $300,000, according to local real estate agent reports. Though prices are down so far this year, Moody’s expects them to rise 1% next year.

The region has had some strong household growth in recent years, a trend expected to continue through 2012. It will also benefit from strong growth in median income–3.7%.

#12: Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va. ( Hampton Roads)

Virginia Beach is slated to have some of the strongest home price appreciation (4.3%) and income growth (4.7%) during the next year and a half.

Home prices will stabilize this year and rise slightly over the next two. Building permits levels were buttressed by a big increase in multifamily. But single-family will be the engine for robust permit growth over the next two years.

The Norfolk Naval Station employs 64,000. Virginia Beach has a low unemployment rate of only 7.1%. But cutbacks in military spending have been weakening the economy.

#13: Washington DC-Arlington-Alexandria, Va.-Md.-

The second biggest market on our list after Houston, Washington, D.C. has been one of the best housing markets for the last two years, though most local builders will tell you the market took a small step backward this year. In fact, if you look at what has happened to prices, it has double-dipped.

Median home prices rose 5% in 2010, but are on track to give it all back this year. D.C. remains one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, with a median price of about $325,000, well below the peak of $458,000 in 2007.

#15: Richmond, Va.

Median home prices in Richmond, the capital of Virginia and home to several major universities, have been very stable throughout the housing recession. From a peak of $230,000 in 2007, they have fallen only to roughly $203,000 this year.

An unemployment rate of only 7.1% provides a partial explanation. Richmond has two nearby military bases, Fort Lee and Dahlgren AFB. Three of its seven major employers are health care providers. Employment is expected to rise 1.8% next year.

Moody’s is projecting that total permit activity will nearly double next year. It is down this year, due to a drop off in multifamily permits. But the single-family sector, which historically accounts for about 80% of activity, has been stable.

The rest of the Top 20  markets featured in this article include Greeley, CO, Houston, TX, Austin, TX, Kennewick, WA, Lexington, KY, Richmond, VA, Milwaukee, WI, Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, VA, San Antonio, TX, Denver, CO, Bradenton, FL, Oklahoma City, OK, Colorado Springs, CO, Charlottesville, VA, Miami, FL, Jacksonville, FL, Salt Lake City, UT, Fort Collins, CO, and #1  Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

Click here for the whole story and complete list from Builder Online.

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