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For The Record: The Real Facts of N.C. Real Estate


> With an unemployment rate that has dropped

steadily since its peak in February, North Carolina is

now the third-best state in the country for declining


> With 36,700 jobs created in the last 12 months and

commitments for 30,000 new ones, it's understand-

able why North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation for

job creation.

> North Carolina was recently ranked by Forbes

Magazine as the third-best state for business - up from

No. 5 a year ago, while Asheville and Durham were

named among the top 10 best places to retire.

> In September, retail sales rose for the third straight

month, a sign economists say should alleviate fears of

a double-dip recession since consumer spending

accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.


> Housing starts hit a five-month high in September, a

tentative sign of improvement in the housing market.

When compared to September last year, housing starts

were up 4.1 percent.

> The country continues to regain its confidence in the

housing market. A survey by Fannie Mae shows 70

percent of Americans believe now is a good time to buy

a home - up from 64 percent in January.

> A six-month supply of homes is one of the barometers

of a healthy housing market. In September, the number

of unsold new homes fell to the lowest level since 1968

and declined from an 8.6-month supply of homes the

previous month to an eight-month supply.

> Housing affordability conditions are 60 percent better

today than they were during the housing boom. And

qualified buyers are taking notice. In September, existing

home sales rose 10 percent when compared to the

previous month.


> While a total of 288,345 properties were lost to fore-

closure in the third quarter, default notices - the first

step in the foreclosure process - declined 21 percent

from the same period last year.

> New help is now available in 17 North Carolina coun-

ties to homeowners who are struggling to make their

mortgage payments through the N.C. Foreclosure

Prevention Fund. Starting in December, assistance will

be available statewide and is expected to help 21,000

struggling N.C. homeowners.

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