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RISMEDIA, October 5, 2009—The 2009 Coldwell Banker® Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) recently released found a price gap of more than $2 million between the most expensive and most affordable U.S. housing markets.

In the annual comparison of similar 2,200-square foot homes in 310 U.S. housing markets, La Jolla, Calif. led the list as the most expensive real estate market in the country with an average home price of $2,125,000. Grayling, Mich., also known as the “canoe capital of the world,” ranked as the most affordable market in America, where a similarly sized home costs $112,675.

La Jolla was joined on the most expensive list by 13 other California markets while Grayling was one of 20 Midwest communities on the most affordable list. Internationally, Singapore was the most expensive market for the same type of home, $1.9 million U.S. dollars, compared with Salinas, Ecuador, which at $69,375 U.S. dollars was the most affordable studied international market.

Differing from most housing reports that compare median prices, the annual Coldwell Banker HPCI, provides an apples-to-apples comparison of similar 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath homes in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and a sampling of countries/territories outside of North America where Coldwell Banker Real Estate has a presence.

”While price differentials are interesting to compare, I am most intrigued with the affordability levels now seen across much of the nation,” says Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home is one we deem ‘aspirational’ and usually purchased by move-up buyers experiencing lifestyle changes. Thirty percent of the markets show this type of home to be below $200,000, illustrating the opportunity to take advantage of price declines, interest rate levels and increased selection of homes. Encouraging these move-up buyers back into the market is a crucial next step toward helping to rejuvenate the housing industry and the overall U.S. economy.”

A “Snapshot” of U.S. Home Affordability

Offering a “snapshot” of affordability across the United States, the Coldwell Banker HPCI evaluates average home values for select 2,200 square foot single-family homes with four bedrooms, two-and-one-half baths. The cumulative average sales price of the four-bedroom homes surveyed in the 310 U.S. markets (including one in Puerto Rico) covered in the Coldwell Banker HPCI is $363,460.

Through the comprehensive HPCI section on the Coldwell Banker website (, prospective homebuyers and sellers can calculate what similar homes may be worth in other areas and gather preliminary intelligence about the affordability of housing from one market to another.

2009 Coldwell Banker HPCI – Highlights and Top Market Lists
Affordable and Attractive: In addition to Grayling, Mich., the following are interesting tidbits about the other nine most affordable U.S. markets:

-Akron, Ohio ($121,885), won the All-American City award three times and is birthplace to the ice cream cone
-Fayetteville, N.C. ($130,875), a historic city known for its strong military ties
-Canton, Ohio ($131,867), birthplace of American professional football and home to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame
-Detroit, Michigan ($132,000), America’s automotive manufacturing and Motown music hub
-Arlington, Texas ($138,775), home to the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium which will host the 2011 Super Bowl XLV, and the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark
-Macon, Ga. ($139,007), hometown to many legendary soul and blues acts like Otis Redding, and home of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame
-Eau Claire, Wis. ($141,270), which has been named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise in the past
-Port Charlotte, Fla. ($142,750), which is minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico and setting to some of the country’s best sunset views
-Wichita, Kans. ($144,625), home to more than 30 museums and a haven for art-lovers, theatre-goers and golfers alike

Low Cost to Homeownership: In total, there are 84 U.S. markets in which the sample home price averages under $200,000. The monthly mortgage cost for homes in this price range could average less than $600, and down payments could amount to less than $4,000.

Luxury Living: La Jolla, Calif. heads the list as the most expensive real estate market in the country ($2,125,000), beating out its California neighbor Beverly Hills, where the average home costs $1,981,750. Greenwich, Conn., whose average price of $1,519,250 places it as the most expensive market on the East coast, followed by Boston at No. 7 overall. In total, 11 U.S. markets exceeded the $1 million average price for the surveyed home. Note: Manhattan in New York City was not included in the study because of the lack of comparable single-family homes.

On Average: The overall national average price of homes in the 2009 Coldwell Banker HPCI is $363,401.

Canadian Prices Reach Record Levels: Canada’s brief market downturn is over, with record prices now seen throughout the resurgent market. Vancouver, BC leads the hot-again west coast at $1.17 million U.S. dollars for the studied home, nearly double that of nearby Burnaby BC at $611,243. Boomtown Fort McMurray at $593,340 surpasses Calgary as Alberta’s most expensive market. Canada’s largest city, Toronto, Ontario comes in at $766,643, while Charlottetown PEI remains the country’s most affordable market, priced at $147,560 U.S. dollars.

Most Expensive Internationally: The most expensive market outside the United States is Singapore, where an HPCI subject home averages $1.9 million U.S. dollars, ten percent lower than La Jolla. Coldwell Banker Real Estate compared a total of 57 markets in 29 countries outside of the United States, with those international home prices averaging $487,844 in U.S. dollars.

The top 10 most expensive and most affordable surveyed U.S. markets overall in 2009 are:

Rank   Most Expensive   2009 Avg. Sales Price   Most Affordable   2009 Avg. Sales Price

1            La Jolla, Calif.              $2,125,000             Grayling, Mich.              $112,675

2           Beverly Hills, Calif.       $1,981,750             Akron, Ohio                    $121,885

3            Greenwich, Conn.         $1,519,250             Fayetteville, N.C.           $130,875

4           Palo Alto, Calif.              $1,489,726             Canton, Ohio                  $131,867

5            Santa Monica, Calif.    $1,460,912             Detroit, Mich.                 $132,000

6            San Francisco, Calif.    $1,363,250           Arlington, Texas             $138,775

7            Boston, Mass.                 $1,337,578           Macon, Ga.                       $139,007

8            Newport Beach, Calif.   $1,315,505           Eau Claire, Wis.               $141,270

9            Palos Verdes, Calif.        $1,237,041           Port Charlotte, Fla.         $142,750

10          San Mateo, Calif.            $1,090,000          Wichita, Kans.                 $144,625

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