Beverly Hills, Calif., topped the list as the most expensive real estate market in the country while Killeen, Texas, ranked as the most affordable among 317 U.S. markets, according to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC’s latest Home Price Comparison Index, released Wednesday.

Beverly Hills also ranked as the most expensive market in the 2006 index report, while Minot, N.D., last year ranked as the most affordable market.

The index compares similarly sized homes in different markets and is based on the benchmark of a 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, 2.5-bath single-family home with a family room or equivalent and a two-car garage in neighborhoods or ZIP codes within markets that are typical for corporate middle-management transferees.

A home matching the index criteria in Beverly Hills would cost $2.21 million, while a home with similar characteristics would cost $136,725 in Killeen, Coldwell Banker reported, based on the average sales price of sold listings through July 2007 or a comparative market analysis of homes that were previously evaluated for the 2006 index.

The cumulative average sales price of the homes surveyed in the 317 U.S. markets, which includes one market in Puerto Rico, is $422,343, according to the latest index, compared with a U.S. median home price for all existing-homes of $218,200, based on National Association of Realtors data.

The average sales price of the defined subject home is slightly lower than the $423,950 average sales price of homes in the 2006 index. And 139 markets saw a decline in value among index subject homes from 2006 to 2007, while 148 experienced a price increase.

Six of the nation’s 10 most affordable communities ranked in the index are either in the same market area or in close proximity to major U.S. military posts, according to the index report.

Dublin, Ireland is the most expensive international market included in the index, with subject homes selling for an average $2.1 million in U.S. dollars. Next on the list is Milan, Italy, at $1.9 million, followed by Rome and Paris at $1.7 million (all in U.S. dollars). Bogotá, Colombia, ranks as the most affordable international market, at $140,100, followed by Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh at $144,896; Charlottetown, Canada, at $157,630; and Granada, Nicaragua, at $158,375. Warsaw, Poland, at $417,760, is closest to the $422,343 U.S. average of all of the foreign markets covered in the latest index.

Jim Gillespie, president and CEO for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, noted that the National Association of Realtors reported that 32 percent of all Realtors in the U.S. had at least one international client during the past year, and the company’s index “serves as a guide for these world travelers and interested consumers to get a sense of how much a typical middle-management home may cost in various markets around the globe.”

Eight of the top 10 most expensive markets recorded in the index are in California. Greenwich, Conn., moved from the eighth most expensive market last year to second this year, with an average subject home price of $2 million.

Sixteen U.S. markets exceeded an average $1 million price for the subject home, and Manhattan was excluded because of the lack of comparable single-family homes.

The Northeast Corridor — from Maine to Washington, D.C. — and California account for 35 of the 40 most expensive U.S. markets in the Coldwell Banker index, while two locations from those regions appear in the 40 most affordable markets.

Vancouver, British Columbia, ranked as the most expensive Canadian market with an average subject home price of $1.33 million. That compares with Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island in Canada, which was that nation’s most affordable market with an average subject home price of $157,630.

The Coldwell Banker System has about 3,800 residential real estate offices and about 120,000 sales associates in 41 countries and territories.

Rank

Most Expensive

2007 Avg. Sales Price

Most Affordable

2007 Avg. Sales Price

1

Beverly Hills, Calif.

$2,206,883

Killeen, Texas

$136,725

2

Greenwich, Conn.

$2,018,750

Minot, N.D.

$139,033

3

La Jolla, Calif.

$1,800,000

Arlington, Texas

$139,175

4

Santa Monica, Calif.

$1,785,000

Canton, Ohio

$146,333

5

Palo Alto, Calif.

$1,677,000

Muncie, Ind.

$150,000

6

Newport Beach, Calif.

$1,617,500

Topeka, Kan.

$150,075

7

Santa Barbara, Calif.

$1,599,667

Fort Worth, Texas

$151,250

8

San Mateo, Calif.

$1,498,023

Tulsa, Okla.

$153,750

9

San Francisco, Calif.

$1,451,250

Grayling, Mich.

$155,000

10

Boston, Mass.

$1,381,250

Wichita, Kansas

$156,500

Source: Coldwell Banker 2007 Home Price Comparison Index

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