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Daily Real Estate News  |  November 11, 2003  |   Fla.: Identifying Most, Least Expensive Housing Markets Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation's recently released Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) revealed that a 2,200-square-foot home in Miami/Coral Gables costs $588,000, while a similar home in Pensacola would fetch only about $162,333, making the two markets the most and least expensive in the state, respectively. Pat Dahne, Miami-Dade president for Coldwell Banker Florida, says the study gives homebuyers an accurate "apples to apples" comparison of homes in various markets across the U.S., rather than giving them average home sales prices across the board. "To arrive at the Miami figure, we took a cross-section of 4-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath single-family homes in Coral Gables and Pine Crest, the top two highly requested corporate transferee markets," says Dahne. By comparison, Dahne says the area's average price for all types of properties is $493,000, up from $457,000 during the same period in 2002. Dahne says real estate professionals operating in the state's most expensive market are both blessed and challenged by the home values. Despite the high prices, listing inventory in most price ranges has been "very low" since interest rates began their descent, says Dahne, which makes it difficult to place buyers in their desired homes. Conducted annually, the Coldwell Banker study compares homes sold in typical, middle-management transferee neighborhoods in 317 markets across the U.S. and 25 markets in Canada. Nationwide, the most expensive market found by the study was La Jolla, Calif., where a 2,200 square-foot home is $1.36 million. The most affordable was Binghamton, N.Y., where a 2,200-square-foot home sells for about $121,400. —By Bridget McCrea for REALTORŪ Magazine Online

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