Friday, July 08, 2011

Weighing Home Affordability

Coldwell Banker Real Estate recently released its Home Listing Report (HLR), a snapshot survey of average listing prices for four-bedroom, two full bathroom homes in more than 2,300 North American markets. Newport Beach, Calif., led the list of most expensive U.S. real estate markets for the second year in a row, with an average home listing price of approximately $2.5 million for property listings meeting the subject home criteria. The most affordable U.S. market in the report is Niagara Falls, N.Y., which has an average home listing price of approximately $61,000. The dramatic difference of more than $2.4 million between most expensive and most affordable U.S. housing markets is just one of the many findings in this comprehensive market comparison.

The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report compiles extensive information on real estate data from around the U.S. and Canada for home buyers and sellers. The HLR provides the average home listing price of four-bedroom, two full bathroom properties on that were listed between September 2010 and March 2011 from more than 2,300 North American markets. The U.S. average for the surveyed listings was approximately $293,000.

Put in perspective, a $200,000 property with a 30-year-fixed mortgage at a 5% interest rate (with a 20% down payment) could translate to a relatively low monthly mortgage payment of less than $860. Using the same parameters, the average $60,820 four-bedroom, two full bathroom home in Niagara Falls could translate to a month mortgage payment of approximately $260.

In New Jersey, HLR results show Newark at the top of the affordability list of 156 New Jersey real estate markets, averaging $170,427 for comparable 4 Bedroom homes. In Essex County, the next highest market for a home after Newark fell to Belleville at number 19, with the average priced four-bedroom, two-bathroom property coming in at $269,500. Essex County markets include number 44 Bloomfield, averaging $351,537, and Montclair at number 85, averaging $448,441.

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