I’ve said it so often, it could be my theme song: Real estate is hyperlocal.

This means, as we discussed last week, that markets move up and down on their own time frames, and to varying degrees depending on factors like their job markets, whether or not the area happens to be a college town, patterns in population growth (or decline), and whether homes are overbuilt in the area.

The fact that real estate is hyperlocal also means that there are no national rules of thumb in American real estate; for example, I’m often asked by buyers in various cities how much below asking. Should they offer 5 percent? Or 15 percent? There is simply no one answer that applies across the board, or even across a state or within a single city.

At the same time it’s a buyer’s market in Atlanta, for example, a seller’s market could still prevail in Manhattan or San Francisco, or even in Boulder or Pittsburgh.

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