AgentMarkets & Economy

Home prices put to ZIP code test

A better way to forecast micro-market prices?

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The wealth created by the housing bubble has been wiped out, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors who spoke at the group's annual conference in November 2009. Does this mean that if you bought your home in 2005 in an area that experienced rapid appreciation from 2004-07, you'll lose money if you sell today? NAR tracks home-sale price trends nationally and by regions. Relying on national, regional or even statewide home-sale price data to determine home values in a given micro market could lead to misleading conclusions. Norm Miller, director of the Real Estate Academic Program at University of San Diego, analyzes several factors to determine the health of housing markets. During a presentation at the UC Berkeley Haas Business School Real Estate and Economics Symposium, Miller advocated a ZIP code analysis to get an accurate picture of the local market. A ZIP code approach can reveal that home-sale price trends in a given ZIP c...