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Healthiest Housing Markets

No doubt, some housing markets were hit harder than others during the recession. As a result, the markets less banged up are poised to be the first to bounce back when the housing recovery takes off.

“You have some markets where so many things have gone wrong; it’s very difficult for those markets to make a recovery,” said Cameron Findlay, the chief economist at LendingTree. “Then, there are other markets, where only a couple things have gone wrong. For those markets, there’s still hope of a recovery.”

LendingTree crunched the numbers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to find the healthiest and least healthy housing markets, based on five key criteria: debt-to-income ratio, unemployment, home ownership, negative equity and the average loan-to-value ratio.

It’s worth noting that all of the top 10 have home prices that are below the national average of $298,000, most of them well below that mark.

Geographically speaking, more than half of the top 10 states came from the central time zone, while two came from New England and there were one each from the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones. Still, the top 10 only make up a small part of the overall U.S. market – 8.15% to be exact. By comparison, the bottom 10 make up nearly 36%. California, alone, accounts for nearly 23%.

Here are the top 10 states with the healthiest housing markets.

By Cindy PermanPosted 12 Apr 2011

Photo: Don Klumpp | Photographer's Choice | Aurora | Getty Images