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The Lowcountry scores high in terms of real estate market health but lags when it comes to job opportunities and competition, diminishing it as a prime area for making a living buying and selling houses, according to online personal finance site WalletHub.

Charleston ranks 65th out of 179 cities surveyed, the company says. It scores 33rd in industry health and 131st for employment. Notably, Charleston placed second "least attractive for real estate employment," the Internet site says, besting only Tacoma, Washington.

WalletHub conducted the study in response to existing home sales this year reaching its strongest point in 12 years.

To rate markets, the online site looked at 18 indicators of a healthy housing market, "ranging from sales per agent to annual median wage for real-estate agents."

San Francisco ranked as the best place to be a real estate agent, beating out Seattle and San Jose. Most of the cities in the top group are on the West Coast although Charlotte ranked 14th and Nashville, ninth.

Among other findings, Salem, Oregon, reported the most homes sold on average per real-estate agent in 2017 at 148.20. The lowest average sales per agent was in Houston at 6.86. Honolulu and Pearl City, Hawaii, posted the highest annual median wage for agents, $87,070, with Laredo, Texas, the lowest at $23,970.

"Last year's real estate market was very healthy, with 5.57 million sales of existing homes, the best year for the industry since 2006," WalletHub says. "And we predict that trend will continue into 2018. But even as the market changes as a whole, certain cities remain hot spots. In the coming year, real-estate agents may want to relocate to places with the highest demand for housing and that pay the best for their expert guidance," the company says.

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