Hot and Cold Markets

Wondering who's hot and who's not?

The LA Times says that Los Angelos County is still hot. The median home price is apparently $560,000. (That's a little rich for my blood.) The median price has hit this record high from a level of $230,000 just 4 years ago. Here's more eye-popping data: if you get a conventional mortgage using a 20% down payment to buy your $560,000 home, your annual salary would need to be $120,000. And you'd have to have a very good credit rating and little or no other debt.

The prices are not so high in San Antonio. The median price there was $131,900 for the first quarter of 2006 says San Antonio Express-News. However, it's a bona fide sellers market! There's not much inventory of homes on the market: buyers will need to open up their check books and pay what the sellers are asking.

If you own a high-end property in the Greater Boston area, you might have to sell low. The Boston Business Journal says the inventory of homes over $4 million is up 70% from a year ago. (Personally, I'm not sure I feel sorry for them.) If you've bought residential property at a price slightly below that, in the $2 million range, you are getting 89% of the original asking price. However, single-family homes on average are getting 94% of the original selling price. So, it seems you are losing out on value at the higher prices.

If you want a cheaper condo, head to Myrtle Beach. Perhaps it's fallout from the hurricane season, but in the first quarter of this year there were 3 times the number of condos on the market as for the same time last year. The Sun News of Myrtle Beach says lessening demand and a greater supply of units available is giving buyers more bargaining power. Is this more evidence that the housing boom is over?

Maybe not. At the same time as Myrtle Beach is suffering, central Oregon is in the midst of a real estate boom. Sales are still strong according to The Bulletin of Bend. Sales are higher for the most part; so are prices. What's driving this? In part, it's home owners relocating from more expensive areas.

Michael

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