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Economic News

10 most expensive real estate markets don’t include top performing



What about the top performer?

Of the top ten most expensive real estate markets, we noticed that the list is missing the only city in the S&P Case-Shiller index that has home values increasing while every single other city evaluated has continued to decline. Washington D.C. is our nation’s only positive performer in the index, so it is interesting that it has broken with tradition.

Often, when we look at the most expensive real estate markets, it indicates they are on fire and highly desirable and not only are sales doing well, but housing prices overall are increasing. Not so this time around. We suspect D.C. is up there in housing prices, but the following ten cities are more expensive regardless.

Top 10 most expensive real estate markets

  1. Honolulu, HI – median home price $579,300
  2. San Jose, CA – median home price $545,000
  3. Anaheim, CA – median home price $511,800
  4. San Francisco, CA – median home price $465,900
  5. New York, NY – median home price $439,300
  6. San Diego, CA – median home price $374,800
  7. Boulder, CO – median home price $353,400
  8. Bridgeport, CT – median home price $342,100
  9. Boston, MA – median home price $322,100
  10. Barnstable, MA – median home price $299,00

NAR data reveals that despite Honolulu taking the top spot, they were actually more expensive overall earlier in the year, but it’s no surprise that somewhere like Honolulu can demand such a price. Silicon Valley has taken a dip, but it is good news for owners there that they remain near the top spot.

It is no surprise that many of the top spots are taken by California with real estate prices traditionally much higher than most of the rest of the country (barring NY and Boston of course). Boulder was a nice to see on the list, however, as it offers such a different lifestyle than all of the other cities listed and takes the top spot for mountain living.

As a Realtor, it is helpful to know the trend of the most expensive real estate markets as a point of comparison to your own, it gives you a real idea of the living costs in your city. AGBeat is headquartered in Austin where at any of the prices above, you would be in the higher end of the market, and take a visit to Tulsa and see what $500k cold buy you! Comparing markets is not only fun and informative but can help relocating clients understand the value of what they’re getting and leaving.

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  1. Jeff Brown

    June 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I'm tryin' to wrap my head around San Jose being more expensive than San Francisco. For that matter, Anaheim too.

    • George

      June 26, 2011 at 8:30 am

      If you lived here, it would be obvious. San Jose' has Cisco, Adobe, eBay … and is few miles away from Google, Apple (literally few blocks away), intel … the list goes on. These aren't manufacturing jobs in SJ anymore. We have no manufacturing jobs. These are high paying R & D jobs – not assembly line jobs. We design them here and ship them off to a cheaper places to build them (you know the drill – china, Mexico …). In short, SJ is made up of high paying engineers and scientists who can afford inflated prices. Also, being in the bay area, useful land to build houses are hard to come by (same goes for SF). So it wouldn't be surprising to see a regular 4 bed 2 bath in "nice" part of San Jose' go for close to a mil. And it isn't that SF is cheap, it's just that San Jose' is more expensive. We just have more people and more jobs. Also, you get more for your house in San Jose' than SF. In terms of square footage, I would say SF is more expensive than SF. But we're only 40 minutes away. People work in SF and live in SJ – and vice versa.

      The reason for Anaheim being more "expensive" is obvious. They got many monster homes in nice part of OC. When you talk about a half a million dollar home in Anaheim, it actually looks like a half a million dollar home. 2,000 sq ft (or close to it) – a huge lot … They got plenty of those. So I'm sure Anaheim actually has *more* houses that's more expensive than San Francisco. But this ranking is based on "median" price. A half a mil home in Anaheim is a nice house. A half a mil home in San Francisco is a 2 bed 1 bath fixer with no parking. That's the difference.

  2. Liz Benitez

    June 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I'm not surprised D.C. isn't in the "Most Expensive". We definitely have our high end homes but they move slowly. If you look at who is moving in and out of the area you'll find the majority are military, federal, or contractors. None of whom have a high enough pay grade to purchase one of those "Most Expensive" homes.

  3. Kris

    June 22, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Very surprised to see San Fran above New York. They should do the next article on the Best Deals… Florida still some great opportunities.

  4. Jenet Levy

    July 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    To me the Case Shiller index is so flawed that it is meaningless. For New York City real estate, it measures everything but NYC real estate. It only takes into account single-family homes, not co-ops or condos which is what you own if you own in Manhattan. It also considers the NYC metropolitan area to be other states. So the Case Shiller index for NYC essentially doesn't look at NYC. I am a NYC agent, and that would be the last thing I would look at to know anything about my market.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?



NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<


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Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.



young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.


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Economic News

Gas prices are down, so are gas taxes about to go up?

Do low gas prices mean higher gas taxes are on the way? Budgeting for 2015 just got a bit more complicated, if some politicians have their way.



gas tax


Gas taxes and your bottom line

Many industries rely heavily on time in their vehicle, not just truck drivers and delivery trucks. Sales professionals hop in their vehicles throughout the day, as do many other types of professionals (service providers like plumbers, and so forth). For that reason, gas prices and taxes are a relevant line item that must be budgeted for 2015, but with politicians making the rounds to push for higher gas taxes, budgeting becomes more complicated.

Gas prices are down roughly 50 cents per gallon compared to a year ago, which some analysts say have contributed to more money in consumers’ pockets. Some believe that this will improve holiday sales, but others believe the timing is just right to increase federal taxes on gas. The current tax on gas is 18.40 cents per gallon, and on diesel are 24.40 cents per gallon.


Supporters and opponents are polar opposites

Supporters argue as follows: gas prices are low, so it won’t hurt to increase federal gas taxes, in fact, those funds must go toward improving our infrastructure, which in the long run, saves Americans money because smoother roads mean better gas mileage and less congestion.

Gas taxes have long been a polarizing concept, and despite lowered gas prices, the controversial nature of the taxes have not diminished.

While some are pushing for complete abolition of federal gas taxes, others, like former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell (D) tell CNBC, “Say that cost the average driver $130 a year. They would get a return on that investment” in safer roads and increased quality of life, he added.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Mooney points out that federal gas taxes have been “stuck” at 18 cents for over 20 years, last raised when gas was barely a dollar a gallon and that the tax must increase not only to improve the infrastructure, but to “green” our behavior, and help our nation find tax reform compromise.

Is a gas tax politically plausible?

Mooney writes, “So, this is not an argument that a gas tax raise is politically plausible — any more than a economically efficient tax on carbon would be. It’s merely a suggestion that — ignoring politics — it might be a pretty good idea.”

Rendell noted, “The World Economic Forum, 10 years ago, rated us the best infrastructure in the world,” adding that we “need to do something for our infrastructure, not in a one or two year period, but over a decade.”

Others would note that this rating has not crumbled in just a few years, that despite many bridges and roads in need of repair, our infrastructure is still superior to even the most civilized nations.

Regardless of the reasons, most believe that Congress won’t touch this issue with a ten-foot pole, especially leading up to another Presidential campaign season starting next year.

“I think it’s too toxic and continues to be too toxic,” Steve LaTourette (the former Republican congressman best known for his close friendship with his fellow Ohioan, Speaker John Boehner) tells The Atlantic. “I see no political will to get this done.”

Whether the time is fortuitous or not, and regardless of the positive side effects, many point to a fear of voters’ retaliation against any politician siding with a gas hike, so this matter going any further than the proposal stage is unlikely.

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