The Most Expensive Housing MarketsIt most definitely is a buyer’s market, according to real estate agency Coldwell Banker’s latest Home Listing Report, a snapshot survey of four-bedroom, two-bathroom home listings across the U.S.
While the annual survey found a $1.7 million difference between America’s most expensive and most affordable housing markets, nearly 30% of the studied cities had an average list price of $200,000 or less. According to the agency, a $200,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 4.5% rate would carry a low monthly mortgage payment a little more than $1,000.
“Today those who have the financial resources and a desire to move up to a larger home have a unique opportunity to take advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates coupled with comparatively lower prices and greater selection,” Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker, said.
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Coldwell Banker’s Home Listing Report analyzes the average listing price of more than 18,000 four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties that were listed on the realtor’s website between February and August 2010. Markets included in the report were required to have at least six properties fitting the above criteria within the relevant timeframe.
The survey includes 296 U.S. cities in total. The U.S. average for the listings was approximately $353,000. And 25 of the measured markets had an average listing price of more than $750,000, while 1- of the markets’ listing price averages exceeded $1 million.
Conversely, 85 U.S. markets reported listing prices less than $200,000, while 183 markets had an average lower than $300,000. You can check out the specific listings here.
Of course, all houses aren’t created equal. Read on to find out what cities wound up on the top -- and the bottom -- of the list.
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10th Most Affordable Housing Market: Topeka, Kan.Average Listing Price: $116,343
Located in Shawnee County, Topeka is an urban community with a population of 120,570. Families with children comprise 30% of households in the area. Meanwhile, 83% of Topeka’s residents hold a white collar job.
The median age of the homes in Topeka is 37 years, with 55% of those homes owned, 34% rented and 11% currently not occupied.
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9th Most Affordable Housing Market: Port Huron, Mich.Average Listing Price: $116,267
Port Huron, located in St. Clair County, has a small population of 30,947 and half of the population commutes 13 minutes or more to work, which is a relative short commute, comparatively speaking.
The median age of the homes in Port Huron is 50 years, with 17% of homes currently unoccupied.
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8th Most Affordable Housing Market: Canton, OhioAverage Listing Price: $114,267
Canton is an urban community south of Cleveland with a population of 75,023. The median household income is $36,210, which makes the low prices of homes even better.
Located in Stark County, the city is home to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
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7th Most Affordable Housing Market: Kansas City, Mo.Average Listing Price: $112,449
Kansas City is one of the largest cities to make the most affordable list with a population of 460,328. Last year, 1,655 Kansas City properties were sold while the median sale price of a home was significantly higher at $125,461.
Interestingly, the city contains the second-largest number of fountains in the world, behind Rome, Italy.
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6th Most Affordable Housing Market: Norfolk, Neb.Average Listing Price: $107,814
Norfolk, with a population of 20,569, may still be amongst the most affordable housing markets, but prices are going up. Last year, the average list price of homes was $92,281, which means that Norfolk seems to be recovering from the Great Recession quite nicely. Perhaps the city is benefiting from it plethora of local health care companies, which represent one of the few industries thriving in this recession.
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5th Most Affordable Housing Market: Muncie, Ind.Average Listing Price: $100,314
Located in Delaware County, Munchie has a population of of 65,557. The median household income in Muncie comes in at a relatively low $33,613. Most, or 70%, of Muncie’s residents are married, and families with children reside in 24% of Muncie’s homes. Last year, only 155 properties sold in the area, despite the fact the median listing price was much lower at $63,784.
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4th Most Affordable Housing Market: ClevelandAverage Listing Price: $87,240
A major city with a population of of 409,565, Cleveland offers a range of educational opportunities with 45 elementary schools, 38 middle schools and 27 high schools.The city is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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3rd Most Affordable Housing Market: Sioux City, IowaAverage Listing Price: $85,967
Sioux City is an urban community with a population of 80,354. The median household income in Sioux City is $46,742. In 2010, the city ranked #14 on the Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers.
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2nd Most Affordable Housing Market: Grayling, Mich.
Average Listing Price: $84,625
With a popular of a population of 1,909, Grayling is one of the few rural communities on the affordable list. The median age of homes in Grayling is 37 years, with 57% of those homes owned, 32% rented and 11% not occupied. The city is the home to many popular cross-country skiing destinations.
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Most Affordable Housing Market: DetroitAverage Listing Price: $68,007
Known for its presence in the industrial and automobile industries, the Motor City tops the list of affordable housing market. At this price, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home could cost its owners, on average, less than $350 a month in mortgage payments. Last year, 2,155 Detroit properties were sold. The median sale price was $64,482.
Check out this MainStreet article to see some of the city’s shinier real estate gems.
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10th Most Expensive Housing Market: Santa Barbara, Calif.Average Listing Price: $1,024,661
Santa Barbara is an urban community with a population of 90,594. The city’s housing market got considerably more expensive in 2010, jumping from $699,750 in 2009 to more than $1 million this year.
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9th Most Expensive Housing Market: HonoluluAverage Listing Price: $1,026,821
Honolulu is an urban community with a population of 368,386. Many, or 75%, of residents are married, and 25% have children. The island city has 10 elementary schools, nine middle schools and seven high schools.
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8th Most Expensive Housing Market: Pasadena, Calif.Average Listing Price: $1,043,638
Located in Los Angeles County, Pasadena is an urban community with a population of 136,915. Like many on the most expensive list, the city’s real estate listings read like a mash-up of high-priced and uber-expensive homes. You could snag this three-bedroom, one-bathroom home, for example, for $165,000 or you can spring for one home priced at more than $12 million. Interestingly, more than half of the city’s residences are rented.
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7th Most Expensive Housing Market: Wellesly, Mass.Average Listing Price: $1,080,458
Wellesly, located in Norfolk County, is populated primarily by families. Most, or 85%, of the town’s 25,822 residents are married, and 41% of Wellesley households have children.
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6th Most Expensive Housing Market: Greenwich, Conn.Average Listing Price: $1,195,614
Clearly, houses in this small town of 24,599 residences are not cheap. However, what makes Greenwich especially expensive is property taxes. The state of Connecticut carries the second highest property tax rate in the country, with homeowners paying an average of $4,738 a year. Luckily, the median household income in Greenwich is a high $105,423.
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5th Most Expensive Housing Market: La Jolla, Calif.Average Listing Price: $1,210,300
One of the three California cities to make the top five, La Jolla has a population of 44,443, with 89% of its citizens holding white collar jobs. The median household income in the community is $86,662.
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4th Most Expensive Housing Market: San Francisco, Calif.Average Listing Price: $1,325,103
The largest urban city to top the most expensive list, San Francisco has a population of 800,079. Like Santa Barbara, the price of homes rose dramatically year-over-year. In 2009, the average listing price on the index was $630,125.
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3rd Most Expensive Housing Market: Rye, N.Y.Average Listing Price: $1,325,500
Located in Westchester County, the small community of Rye (population 15,458) is dominated by homeowners: 70% of its residents own. Only a mere 24% of Westchester’s homes are rented, and 6% are not occupied. So, if you have the money, act fast since there seems to be a lack of available homes to snatch up.
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2nd Most Expensive Housing Market: Palo Alto, Calif.Average Listing Price: $1,479,227
The price of homes in this Santa Clara county town may have risen during the past year, but the homes in this area has just gone from really expensive to even more expensive. The median sale price of a home in Palo Alto, population 60,089, in 2009 was $1,093,062.
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Most Expensive Housing Market: Newport Beach, Calif.Average Listing Price: $1,826,348
Located in Orange County, Newport Beach has been the backdrop to many television shows including The O.C. and Arrested Development. Fittingly, homes for sale in Newport Beach are listed for as high as $16 million.
An urban community with a population of 72,665, the median household income in Newport Beach is $106,383.
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