The HedgeStreet exchange today announced that it has expanded its home-value markets to 10 major metropolitan areas. HedgeStreet.com allows market participants to hedge or speculate on the direction of home values in major U.S. real estate markets.

HedgeStreet first pioneered the home-value markets two years ago. Since then, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has offered a similar opportunity to consumers.

The new government regulated Housing contracts are Binary Option contracts, $100 in size, according to the HedgeStreet announcement. They have three-month and six-month durations, settling on May 15 and Aug. 15, respectively. They are benchmarked against the National Association of Realtors’ reported median sales price of existing single-family homes in 10 metropolitan areas.

The newest areas represented are Las Vegas, Denver and Washington, D.C. They join the Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Boston markets, all of which have previously traded on HedgeStreet.

HedgeStreet says its markets now have a track record of accurately forecasting the median value of residential housing. Russell Anderson, vice president of HedgeStreet, said the housing contracts accurately predicted the relative median home values in each of the seven markets listed on HedgeStreet at the last settlement in November 2006. As an example he cited San Diego, where HedgeStreet members’ trading reflected an 89.5 percent likelihood that the NAR value would exceed $595,000, with only a 20.1 percent chance that it would exceed $615,000. The actual NAR-based settlement price was $601,900.

HedgeStreet is a U.S. government-designated online financial market that lets traders directly buy and sell innovative financial instruments based on economic events.

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