Coldwell Banker Releases Home Price Comparison Index
Although both are waterfront cities, something besides the salt water separates La Jolla, Calif. on the Pacific Ocean from Sioux City, Iowa on the Missouri River – a $1.7 million dollar difference in the cost of homes studied in the 2008 Coldwell Banker® Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI).
In an annual comparison of similar homes in 315 U.S. markets, La Jolla topped the chart as the most expensive real estate market in the nation with a $1,841,667 average home price. Sixteen hundred miles away in America’s heartland sits Sioux City, the most affordable real estate market in America, where a similar home would cost $133,459.
La Jolla and Sioux City are not alone in representing California and the Midwest. In fact, eight out of ten of the country’s most expensive housing markets are in California, and eight Midwestern cities make the list of the nation’s 10 most affordable home markets.
Differing from most housing reports which compare median prices, the annual Coldwell Banker HPCI, which first launched in the late 1980s, provides an apples-to-apple comparison of similar 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath homes in 315 markets across the United States, in addition to Puerto Rico, Canada and a sampling of countries/territories outside of North America where Coldwell Banker has a presence.
“This year’s study comes at an interesting time in our nation’s history with the impact of the housing correction and mortgage financing serving as critical economic issues in the presidential election,” says Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
“While Americans move for lifestyle reasons, a home is usually a family’s most valuable investment asset. For those who want to get into the housing market, I believe this is the smartest time in my 33 years in real estate to buy a home. Combined with the amount of homes on the market and historically low interest rates, the correction in prices has brought affordability levels down.”
“Looking deep into the survey, half of the markets surveyed showed an average price for this very nice type of home to be less than $300,000 showcasing the affordability of homeownership across our nation,” continues Gillespie.
A “Snapshot” of U.S. Home Affordability
Offering a “snapshot” of affordability across the U.S., the Coldwell Banker HPCI evaluates average home values for select 2,200 square foot single-family dwellings with four bedrooms, two-and-one-half baths, a family room (or equivalent) and a two-car garage.
The cumulative average sales price of the four-bedroom homes surveyed in the 315 U.S. markets (including one in Puerto Rico) covered in the Coldwell Banker HPCI is $403,738, a 4.4 percent decline from the $422,343 reported in the 2007 Coldwell Banker study.
Through the comprehensive HPCI section on www.coldwellbanker.com, prospective home buyers and sellers can calculate what their homes may be worth in other areas in the United States and gather preliminary intelligence about the affordability of housing from one market to another.
In total, 13 U.S. markets exceed the $1 million average price for the surveyed home. Joining Greenwich and Boston on that list outside of California is Wellesley, Mass. ($1.2 million).
The Northeast Corridor (from Maine to Washington, D.C.) and California dominate all but five of the most expensive “top 40” U.S. markets slots – with just one town from those regions (Augusta, Maine) appearing among the top 40 most affordable markets. Texas, led by Arlington, has six of the study’s 40 most affordable markets.
Canada mirrors the U.S. in that its costliest markets are primarily situated on the West Coast. Vancouver, British Columbia, tops the Canadian list, with comparable four-bedroom homes averaging $1,257,000 U.S. dollars. The most affordable studied market in Canada is Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island ($157,000). The price difference between Vancouver and Charlottetown is a stunning $1,100,000.
Dubai is the most expensive market studied outside of North America, where an HPCI subject home averages $2.45 million U.S. dollars, 33 percent higher than La Jolla. Coldwell Banker charts a total of 15 markets outside of the U.S. averaging more than $1 million, including Bucuresti, Romania ($1.9 million) and Madrid, Spain ($1.7 million). Quito, Ecuador, ($96,750) is the most affordable foreign market included in the survey. Nine markets altogether average less than $200,000 including Guayaquil and Samborondo, Ecuador.
About Coldwell Banker®
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier full-service real estateprovider. In 2007, Franchise Times magazine’s prestigious Top 200 issue ranked the Coldwell Banker system No. 1 in real estate for the eighth straight year and 12th among franchisors in all industries. The Coldwell Banker System has approximately 3,600 residential real estate offices and 110,300 sales associates in 47 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in the industry in residential and commercial real estate, and in niche markets such as resort, new home and luxury property through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® division. It is a pioneer in consumer services with its Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program and award-winning Web site.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.
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