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Building permits (year-over-year change): +12.2%
Median home price: $123,400
Home price change: +13.9%
Unemployment rate: 9.5%
Developers are busy preparing for the growth of military contractors and personnel arriving with the base realignments at nearby Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. About 40,000 new residents could arrive by 2013, including 2,800 soldiers, civilians and defense contractors who will work at a new four-star headquarters on Fort Bragg, according to a local newspaper. The economy is heavily dependent on the military. It also has seven museums, three colleges and universities, golf courses, and a historic downtown.