Thought Leadership

October 14, 2010

Gauging Real Estate Affordability in America


Real estate trends and prices continue to dominate news headlines, as debates on just where the housing market may be headed rage on. In a move to add further insight (and in many cases, balance) to the conversation, CooperKatz client Coldwell Banker Real Estate debuted a new measure of affordability in the U.S. housing market in late September. The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report is a snapshot survey of four-bedroom, two-bathroom home listings on between February and August 2010 in nearly 300 U.S. markets and select Canadian markets where Coldwell Banker has a presence.


Newport Beach, CA Detroit, MI


While Coldwell Banker has for many years issued national real estate market reports to provide consumers with insights into local market conditions, technology now allows the company to drill into its own listings in a comprehensive manner to get a broad view of affordability trends. The inaugural Home Listing Report found a $1.7 million difference between America’s most expensive and most affordable housing markets. Newport Beach, Calif., led the list of most expensive real estate markets in America, with an average home listing price of approximately $1.83 million for property listings meeting the subject home criteria. By contrast, America’s most affordable housing market was Detroit, Mich., with an average home listing price of approximately $68,000. The U.S. average for the surveyed listings was approximately $353,000.


After taking a deep dive into the data, CooperKatz and Coldwell Banker noted that 85 U.S. markets in the HLR averaged reported listing prices of less than $200,000 – while 183 markets (out of a total of 296 surveyed) averaged less than $300,000. This is a testament to the growing affordability of homeownership across the country and the opportunity – even despite the downturn – for those who have the financial resources, job stability and desire to move into a first home or move up to a larger residence.


To kick-off the announcement and highlight positive trends that are occurring in many local real estate markets around the U.S., CooperKatz secured national media interviews for Coldwell Banker CEO, Jim Gillespie, with Fox Business, Business News Network (BNN), CBS Radio, NPR, AOL HousingWatch, MarketWatch and Reuters. In addition, Jim Gillespie participated in a satellite media tour with more than 15 local broadcast stations throughout the U.S. Within the first week of issuing the report, CooperKatz garnered nearly 120 print and online placements and more than 140 broadcast hits. And most important, Coldwell Banker continued to add nuance and hard data to the nation’s overarching conversation about real estate – one that is still often dominated by confusion and conflicting opinion.

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