hlr Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report – Our Look at Housing MarketsMany of you saw, shared and commented on my last post about my issues with the Case Shiller report.  I was overwhelmed with your feedback, and want to thank everyone who took the time to weigh in.  Here’s one comment from Darryl Beasley at Coldwell Banker Group One Realty in Louisiana:

“Just closed out the best month in our history in Northeast Louisiana. I tell everyone if you plan on fishing in Louisiana, you don’t check the weather in California.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Darryl – you’ve hit the nail on the head with the point that REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL!  So when Coldwell Banker issued our annual Home Listing Report (HLR), we kept that in mind.  The HLR is a snapshot of more than 2,300 local real estate markets in North America (nearly 10 times more markets than last year), and it provides the average home listing price for four-bedroom, two-bath properties that appeared on coldwellbanker.com over a six month period of time.

This year, Niagara Falls, New York topped the most affordable  list, while Newport Beach, California came in as the most expensive.  Both are known for their connection to water, and both are wonderful communities.  I remember visiting Niagara Falls for the first time when I was six years old, and being completely awestruck by the Falls themselves.  And it’s incredible to me that affordability there enables buyers today to purchase a four-bedroom, two-bath home for approximately $61,000.  Just think: a qualified buyer could put down 20%, and with a 30-year-fixed mortgage (and a 5% interest rate), the monthly mortgage payment would be well under $300!

Across the country on the West Coast, spectacular Newport Beach, California tops our most expensive list – the average listing for a four-bedroom, two-bath home there is approximately $2.5 million.  I had the opportunity to live nearby for many years when Coldwell Banker Real Estate was headquartered in Newport Beach.  If you look at a map, it’s easy to see why so many people think it’s a desirable place to live.  Newport Beach is on the ocean, it’s between Los Angeles and San Diego, near the mountains and the desert and it’s close to resorts and parks – not to mention the fact that your neighbors could be interesting people like athletes or actors!

While $2.5 million might be out of reach for some home buyers, I was pleased that this year, 1,545 markets had average listing prices of less than $300,000 for that four-bedroom, two-bath home.  There are many ways to analyze and examine the HLR data, and I encourage you to look at your state and your market to learn more.  But at the end of the day, the housing market is about buying a particular house, on a particular street, in a particular neighborhood.  It’s hyper-local, and I’m so proud that our trusted agents can help buyers going through this process understand what’s going on in any given market.

What do you think of this year’s HLR?  Any surprises?  Any amazing investing opportunities that stand out?  As always, I love to see your comments!