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Price gap breaks a million

August 15, 2002

Home value comparison across the map shows 7% increase with greatest variance in California

Inman News Features

A recent home price comparison index showed there was a $1.1 million price gap between the nation's most expensive and most affordable markets for similar homes.

The average home value was up 7 percent nationwide from last year, according to the study released by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. The national cumulative average sales price of the study's subject home in the U.S. was $291,097, up from $269,241 a year ago.

The 2002 annual Home Price Comparison Index studied the price variances for similar homes in 317 U.S. markets and 25 Canadian markets. Of the 317 U.S. markets assessed, 206 markets, or about 65 percent, showed increases from a year ago and 114 of those, or about 36 percent of total, were up by over 10 percent.

Palo Alto, Calif., was the most expensive market in the nation with an average sales price of $1,263,250, according to the index. The most affordable market was Yankton, S.D., with an average sale price of $101,062, indicating a price variable of $1,162,188 for a similar home.

Seven of the nation's 10 most expensive markets were in California, according to the index. Two were in Connecticut and the other was in Massachusetts. Seven of the 10 most affordable markets were within the Midwest region.

The cumulative average price of all homes surveyed nationally was $291,097, up 7 percent from $269,241 in last year's survey. American markets that came closest to the index's national average sales prices were: Conshohocken/Montgomery County, Pa., with $291,250 and Naperville, Ill., with $289,937.

Idaho had the least price variance of $3,200 between the most expensive and the most affordable.

California had the greatest variance of $1,049,125.

The index provides preliminary guidance for the affordability of housing within a market in an effort to aid a transferee's decision process, according to Coldwell. Consumers can use an automated indexing formula provided on Coldwell's Web site to calculate what their home would be worth in another market.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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