October 8, 2009
Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index Mines Key Affordability Trends
Each year, the Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) provides an apples-to-apple comparison of similar 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath homes in the United States and a sampling of International markets. And each year, a list of the top 10 most affordable and expensive markets is released to the media.
With the U.S. real estate market still very much in recovery mode, CooperKatz worked with Coldwell Banker to identify unique and timely trends from this year’s HPCI data. One key trend we found is related to a “side effect” of the $8,000 Federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers. In speaking about the impact this tax credit, Coldwell Banker CEO Jim Gillespie has noted that while this has been a helpful stimulus plan for those who have never owned a home, the credit has done little to support or spur on the “move-up buyer” (those who already own a home and may be considering moving or upgrading). In examining the data from this year’s HPCI, CooperKatz and Coldwell Banker noted that Americans can find a home similar to the sample indexed for the HPCI for under $200,000 in more than 80 U.S. markets across the nation. This is a positive trend for those move-up buyers who, in many markets, might not think they can find a four-bedroom home for this price. These move-up buyers are, as Gillespie notes, critical to fully rejuvenating the housing industry and the overall U.S. economy. So this trend became an important part of the HPCI story shared with both “mainstream” and “social” media outlets.
In addition to highlighting key trends, CooperKatz also uncovered unique attributes about the top 10 most affordable markets to help bring to life these areas in the U.S. Within a week of announcing this year’s HPCI results, CooperKatz secured more than 100 print and online placements including CNNMoney.com, the Huffington Post and the Associated Press, as well as 22 broadcast segments.