Real Estate prices. Highest to lowest cities show more than a 1000% difference.

Wow, Coldwell Banker is reporting these stats on the most expensive vs cheapest USA markets for a comparable  4 BR house.  I’ve been wondering about this for some time and this indicates clearly the truth of the old maxim in real estate “location, location, location”Looks like here in southern Oregon we are near the national average of about 410k for a 4BR house.


Greenwich, Conn. $2,018,750
Santa Monica, Calif. $1,785,000
Newport Beach, Calif. $1,617,500
San Mateo, Calif. $1,498,023
Boston, Mass. $1,381,250

Most affordable markets
City Price
Minot, N.D. $139,033
Canton, Ohio $146,333
Topeka, Kan. $150,075
Tulsa, Okla. $153,750
Wichita, Kansas $156,500

32 thoughts on “Real Estate prices. Highest to lowest cities show more than a 1000% difference.

  1. Be glad that you don’t live in Switzerland :-). If we at least had the weather that California has … Are those the average selling (or asking?) prices for those areas?

    • John, my Dad’s family is from Zermat, and the Geneva areas, family farms average 100 acres, been in the family for 400 years, value is over 2 million. They wash and clean their farm tractors and put them in covered barns at night. Few of them visited us in PA and couldn’t believe how rural Americans would buy expensive implements and just leave them outside to rust. Makes you wonder about our values.

  2. Most expensive, cheapest, affordable ???

    I wonder if there is any analysis of ‘average home price in area’ versus ‘average income in the area’? After all, part of the price of the home reflect past appreciation in the area and the generally expected future appreciation in the area so I wonder if a home in the Dakotas would be lower in terms of number of dollar required but far higher in terms of lack of future appreciation and lack of lifestyle amenities.

    The People’s Republic of Santa Monica has ultra high real estate prices, but it also has upscale, trendy restaurants, bars, art galeries, etc. Get a parking ticket on your Rolls Royce in Santa Monica and you will pay more than someone in the Dakotas pays in a year to haul hay in a ten year old pickup truck to feed his cattle. A waitress in Santa Monica probably makes more in one night than a waitress in the Dakotas makes in a month.

    So what is the actual ‘cost’ of the home?

  3. OFF-TOPIC. (SEARCH optimization not real estate prices).

    I am posting this comment on Search Optimization in this thread on geographical variation in real estate prices for a reason.

    I happened to click on the above commentor’s link as I was curious about his reference to Switzerland in a thread on real estate values in the USA. I found some cryptic references to cheese and have concluded he is located in Switzerland. I also found his prominently displayed “faible” instead of “foible” is probably accidental but would certainly be a major ‘down-ranking factor’ in both my personal estimation as well as in a search engine’s evaluation of his site. I also found his personal website of “I’m not home but leave a message after the beep” to be a wasted and frustrating click-detour.

    Now maybe if I continued on to Sphinn or Twitter or something things might improve but before I have to click on InADither or engage in social ranking on, I’m just going to give up! At what point would a better search algorithm not make me want to link him to

  4. JohnMu I think those are sales prices but can’t remember.

    Felix these were supposed to be comparable houses so the square footage would likely be similar, though I’m guessing the upscale areas are in fact nicer construction, which could more than double the building costs and complicate things.

    FG – good points about affordability, and that a more relevant measure here in terms of standards of living would probably look at several factors.

    There aren’t many investment banker jobs in Minot, N.D.

    However also interesting is the fact that that many people now living in expensive areas could sell out and retire in less expensive, but very nice areas with similar houses. They rarely do this however.

  5. Pingback: Real Estate News » U

  6. “… many people now living in expensive areas could sell out and retire in less expensive, but very nice areas with similar houses. They rarely do this however. …”

    Actually, I think there has been a trend for both individuals and businesses to do exactly that! Many businesses formerly located in highly commercialized areas with high rents and long commute times (eg, City of Industry, CA) have kept their Name and Area Code but physically relocated to remote rural areas where rents and quality of life issues are much better. A fax machine, 800 number, website and FedEx box are often all that are needed these days.
    As to individuals, many retirees and semi-retirees are indeed moving to small rural towns and often buying in-town commercial structures. Alot of Californians sold a home in Los Angeles and bought an entire block of homes in the Pacific NorthWest. Even if prices are nowhere near as heady in California now, its still a bargain to move to rural areas and find value.
    Investment banking jobs are often in Cyberspace these days anyway with physically “doing lunch” being passe and much over-rated. Quality of life for some means hunting and fishing; for others trendy bars and pricey restaurants.
    Even immigrants often known for investing in Central Business Districts are now migrating to third-tier cities or very rural areas as value emphasis changes.

  7. Some upthread issues:

    As to NYC real estate: In NYC the price will reflect the home’s value but in Greenwhich, Connecticut the price will reflect the home’s value and its minimum of ten acres of land as well.

    Home and Gardening Channel: Consider the ReZoned and other shows that focus on couples who buy commercial or industrial properties and convert them to residential living space. There would not be enough material for weekly shows if there were not a sufficiently strong trend of people moving to the smaller cities and towns.

    Its hard to measure ‘price’ and its harder to measure ‘value’. Some businesses are still run on face to face meetings and how spotless someone’s car is or how much defference is paid to them by waiters at power lunches, but too much business is now a commoditized price-competitive operation to be limited to specific physical locations.

    Location, location, location…? Sure, its always relevant, but it is no longer all there is. Too many locations are in cyberspace and local tax revenue is rarely generated when the shopping mall is located in cyberspace rather than the town’s central business district. Just as many actors refuse to live in Hollywood and are willing to pay the price to be elsewhere, many homeowners are also willing to pay the price to be away from the hubbub of a pasee value system based solely on location.

  8. Intersting findings – expected the differences in pricing but the most interesting to me is the locations of the high versus low.

    I do agree that in todays high tech, high speed, gather all the info – Info age i really expected to see top rankings in Google or other search engines – information easily gather and averaged concerning Real Estate Pircing per capita with demografics [as far as easy is in info gathering via the web and updating via computors]

    I did notice real estate has a artificially inflated value trend via the net – sellers/owners see via the net pricing and price acordingly not pricing according to land locale.

    ie: I have seen locally for instance out of state owners pricing at laughable pricing for land/buildings compared to surrounding local pricing and visa versa. A 4br seen selling at XYZ price by the seller on the net [internet] – will be priced according to the seen advertized values not true local values.

    The net advertized Real Estate pricing has has noticably leveled no matter what location it seems.

    I find that interesting as well. Which makes it somewhat difficult to buy or gather a true sense of the XYZ Real Estate market place for that area via the advertized net.

    hope you follow that bable – thinking out loud in part.

    I still would have hoped to find a some what true [not artificially inflated or de-flated census across the US or world for that matter for real estate.

    It is the computor age after all – and the Home Land security gave info gathering to private companies – you’d think they’e put it to some good honest use other than just federal spending excuse.

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  12. whoever does these analysis are so far off-they must have never priced homes in the us. The least expensive areas are by FAR are HOUSTON- check out how much house you get in SPRING TEAXS for example. Also Charlotte NC is super reasonable area. Also both of these areas have desireable real estate not dated run down houses. Vegas also has unbelievable deals right now and most areas of Florida have dirt cheap houses and a zillion foreclosures.

  13. It is always interesting looking at prices and statistics of homes for rent and homes for sale from a few years ago. These days, here in Orange County, home values have fallen around around 35% to 45% depending on the area. Even the high-end homes are now taking a beating. But I don’ think that it is too likely that they will ever be in the same price range as those in Tulsa or Minot.

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