Look around at enough news stories, and you'll probably see several that are very optimistic about the overall health of our nation's real estate markets. That may be true in some areas, but here in the stateline, we're not there yet.

The numbers-crunchers at WalletHub have just released the results of a study they did to identify the most attractive housing markets in America for prospective home buyers. WalletHub looked at:

In order to identify the best real-estate markets, WalletHub’s analysts compared 300 cities across two key dimensions, namely “Real-Estate Market” and “Affordability & Economic Environment.” We evaluated these categories using 16 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the healthiest housing market.

First, the 10 best real estate markets in the U.S.:

  1. Frisco, TX
  2. McKinney, TX
  3. Richardson, TX
  4. Murfreesboro, TN
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Allen, TX
  7. Overland Park, KS
  8. Thornton, CO
  9. Plano, TX
  10. Arvada, CO

Wow, a lot of Texas in there. Looks like Chip and Joanna Gaines picked the right state to fix things up.

So, there's your top ten. Now, what about where we live? What's Rockford's number out of 300 possible rankings?

It's 290th.

Some numbers for Rockford:

Health of Rockford’s Real-Estate Market (1=Best; 150=Avg.):

*     285th – % of Homes with Negative Equity
*     244th – Average Number of Days Until a House Is Sold
*     267th – Median Home-Price Appreciation
*     268th – Job Growth Rate
*     269th – Foreclosure Rate
*     234th – % of Mortgage Holders in Delinquency
*     284th – Number of Unsold Homes Owned by Banks (REOs)
*     292nd – Unemployment Rate
*     280th – Population Growth Rate

Rockford ranks 290th overall and 93rd among midsize cities.

Quick! Before depression sets in, let's lighten the mood with the aforementioned Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper:

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