Nine of the 10 most expensive real estate markets in the country are in California, and Beverly Hills tops the list, according to a home-price study released today by Coldwell Banker.

The average sales price of a home in Beverly Hills is $1.8 million. Meanwhile, Minot, N.D., ranked as the most affordable market among 317 U.S. markets surveyed, with an average sales price of $132,333, according to a report based on the company’s Home Price Comparison Index.

The cumulative average sales price of homes in the U.S. markets and in one Puerto Rico market is $423,950, a 6 percent increase compared to the same period in 2005 and up 57.5 percent since 2001.

The index report used survey data from Coldwell Banker offices in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and other countries where the company has operations. Offices submitted data based on the average sales price of sold listings through July 2006 or a comparative market analysis of homes previously evaluated for the 2005 index.

The criteria for subject homes in the index is: a single-family dwelling, approximately 2,200 square feet, four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, family room or equivalent, and a two-car garage in neighborhoods/ZIP codes within a market that is typical for corporate middle-management transferees.

After Beverly Hills, other top-10 expensive U.S. real estate markets are: Santa Monica, Calif., with an average sales price of $1.77 million; La Jolla, Calif., $1.76 million; Santa Barbara, Calif., $1.7 million; Palo Alto, Calif., $1.65 million; Newport Beach, Calif., $1.57 million; San Jose, Calif., $1.41 million; Greenwich, Conn., $1.4 million; San Mateo, Calif., $1.37 million; and San Francisco, Calif., $1.36 million.

The top-10 most affordable U.S. real estate markets after Minot are: Killeen, Texas, $140,310; Arlington, Texas, $140,975; Grayling, Mich., $144,250; Topeka, Kan., $148,050; Canton, Ohio, $148,333; Tulsa, Okla., $148,575; Billings, Mont., $150,141; Fort Worth, Texas, $151,250; and Cadillac, Mich., $151,530.

Vancouver ranked as the most expensive Canadian market, with a 2006 average sales price of $887,762 in U.S. dollars. Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, at $133,245 in U.S. dollars, was ranked as the least expensive Canadian market.

The index survey included 42 international markets. Home prices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ($483,513 in U.S. dollars) are comparable to those in Bend, Ore. ($482,750); prices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, ($374,332) compare to those in Portland, Maine ($375,500); Warsaw, Poland, ($317,586) compares to Atlanta, Ga. ($322,210); and Sydney, Australia, ($683,109) compares to Bellevue, Wash. ($658,000).

The most expensive international markets (in U.S. dollars) among those surveyed include: Milan, Italy, $1.81 million; St. Thomas, V.I., $1.45 million; Bermuda, $1.44 million; Dublin, $1.41 million; and Rome, $1.26 million. The most affordable international market tracked was Bogotá, Colombia, at $56,522. Currency exchange rates were calculated as of Sept. 5, 2006 on www.oanda.com.

Twenty-nine percent of the U.S. markets in the survey had home-price averages below the National Association of Realtors U.S. median single-family home price of $225,700, and 47 percent of the U.S. markets in the Coldwell Banker survey averaged below $300,000.

Consumers can view an estimate of what their home might be worth in other U.S. markets by using an online tool at http://hpci.coldwellbanker.com/.

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