Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lists come out all the time, ranking cities in everything from best places to live to those with the fattest people. But when it comes to cities lists that involve financial and economic data, people really take notice, especially in an economy like this. Yesterday, an AOL News article listed the Top 10 Healthiest Housing Markets for 2010. The Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord metro area ranks third on the list.

Yay! Hooray! But before you alert the boosters and the city leaders send out press releases, read the brief description it stated about our market.

"Last year housing prices in this financial center (Wachovia and Bank of America) were already stable, incomes were up and new household formation was among the highest in the nation. With an unemployment rate around 5 percent, the area is projected to add 2 percent more jobs this year."

Wrong! "With an unemployment rate around 5 percent..." Uhh, maybe that was our unemployment rate in 2000 because it's certainly not in 2010. The latest report from the N.C. Employment Security Commission states that the unemployment rate in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area is 12.8 percent (109,789 residents were unemployed in January).

It's hard to take this Healthiest Housing Market ranking seriously if it's under counting our unemployment rate by more than half. According to AOL News, the rankings were based on research by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, the housing industry's leading independent real estate research and analytical firm, which among other things used economic data from Moody's The findings are published in Hanley Wood's Builder Market Health Index.

I'm not sure where the error happened, but maybe I should just shut up and let us celebrate our bronze medal. By the way, Raleigh-Cary is ranked second and Austin, Texas is first.


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