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Riskiest housing markets

? Affordability drops, yet sales surge |


| A way to hedge against falling home prices ?

August 01, 2005

Riskiest housing markets

Dean Foust

The PMI Group, a California-based provider of mortgage insurance, recently published an interesting study that ranks the riskiest housing markets in the country ("riskiest" meaning which are the most at risk of a downturn in housing prices). Perhaps not surprisingly, the "Top 10" list of riskiest markets is dominated by California cities. But I was surprised by PMI's choice of the "riskiest" city, which PMI predicts has a better-than-50% chance of falling home prices, because it isn't a housing market that gets a lot of attention in the media. It's Boston, which PMI estimates has a 55% chance of seeing home prices fall. (Interestingly Cambridge is 7th, and the Providence RI-New Bedford-Fall River MSA is ranked 10th. I think PMI's estimation that Washington DC has just a 20% shot at falling prices is too low. There hasn't been much discussion of the Boston housing market on this forum. What do Bostonians think?

11:30 AM


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? How Risky is the Seattle market? from Rain City Real Estate Guide

A national mortgage company, PMI Group, recently came out with a real interesting study that lists the riskiest housing markets in the US. Interestingly the Seattle market ranked #45 out of 50 largest housing markets and it is the only west coast city ... [Read More]

Tracked on August 1, 2005 09:27 PM

It all about marketing and what you have to market. The days of just selling square footage and nothing else may be over. But unique properties will continue to hold high prices especially in areas like New York. For buyers don't buy fades but quality. Check out SOFI in Manhattan. A small area from 32nd to 38th street on Fifth Avenue. There are four residential buildings there that I know of (445,425,372 and 325 Fifth Avenue). Does not take a genius to figure out a Fifth Avenue address will always be a solid investment.

Posted by: martin at August 12, 2005 02:21 PM

I put my house on the market at $440K and for 5 weeks have been dealing with low ballers with NO offers for the full price. It's a large, older home that I've maintained pretty well...I'm not going to say it's pristine because it isn't, but it's certainly "worth" the ask price. I finally reached and agreement for $405K.

I speak with bankers and brokers on a regular basis and they've told me unanimously that sellers are dropping ask prices across the board to get homes sold. I'm 33 miles NW of Boston, near the NH border.

Another broker I deal with in York, ME (well to do destination/resort area) received 10 price reductions from sellers in ONE day.

There's no question the market is softening here in the Boston area...don't let anyone tell you differently. That's my 2 Cents worth from here.


Dracut, MA

Posted by: Tom at September 15, 2005 11:44 AM

.. we are just about to enter a time and era that will RE-define the very basic quality of life and dramatically change these complacent & pampered attitudes for many homeowners in this region. There are lots of unsuspecting,

spoiled rotten homeowners here in Massachusetts and they are very soon likely to be blindsided by ever-increasing downward pressure on property values and continued reductions in sale prices. Many (and I mean hundreds of thousands) in this area are living in denial about the REAL situation that is stewing & very soon coming to a boiling point in this overblown housing market. Many communities are seeing prices up 200% or more in just the last 5-6 years (the Nat'l figure is less than 100%). As inflation ramps up & mounts its deceptive assault at the very core of our day-to-day living, a whiplash fallout of this rapid real estate price run-up is about to jolt the masses here in the northeast. I am not a columnist or writer, I am an experienced & knowledable real estate broker and economics student here in Boston. I have carefully analyzed this situation and the quickly converging forces that are right about to be upon us; and many of the masses here are in for some very crude and dramatic changes coming; especially for those 'cash-out refi- loving jet-set consumers on spending steroids', all at the expense of their soon-to-be-adjusted-downward home values. Its not going to be pretty, many in this area are going to have to take & master the lessons of a crash course - Financial Survival & Responsibility 101.

Posted by: Robert; Boston,MA at September 16, 2005 02:06 AM

How risky is the New Jersey seashore house market

and how much risk is buying a ocean front property? (market risk)

Posted by: mario at December 19, 2005 04:20 PM

Beaches are meant to change. Put your trust not in the things that are Corruptable and Rust, but in the things Above.

Posted by: Christos Victor at December 20, 2005 10:53 PM

Sold my Clinton Township House last summer and moved into a cheaper house in the same town.

Can't cash out completely just yet, so I figured I'd by down to put less equity at risk.

I own several properties in NC and I'm planning on retiring/building on one of these coastal lots in 3 to 4 years, but still need to live in this town until my son finishes HS this spring.

I remember 1988 and how long the RE market took to recover from that down turn. I don't have the time to wait out another hit like that. I only hope I bought down enough and that the NJ market only flattens. At least so I can keep most of what I still have tied up in this current house.

I still wonder about the southeast as a continuing potential RE hot market. That market seems driven more by Baby Boomer's, from all over the US, buying into areas they want to live in during their retirement. I currently have quite a bit of my NJ equity $ invested in this theory.

So far it has been working.

What's your opinion?

Posted by: william endress at December 23, 2005 09:43 AM

Boston house market is coming down. Houses in my area, which were priced 550,000 came down to 499,000. And even then they are not selling.

Houses in this area are 33% over priced.

Posted by: BG at February 6, 2006 02:53 PM


I'm planning to buy a townhouse in Boston(Wakefield). What you suggest me. Is it a good time to buy house. The price tag is little over $500K. Please suggest.


Posted by: SJ at March 1, 2006 07:25 PM

The home prices in the Bay Area in California has not called off. I was looking at a 1440 sq ft Townhome and it wa a bit too rich for me. Still renting. The price for the townhome was $645K, 2 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1 car garage and Home Owners Assoc dues of abt 200 per month. Do people in CA make so money and can afford these homes from 600k to Million dollar homes. I am afraid that this is a bot overboard for me. How do people buy their homes in CA anymore in the bay area

Posted by: Kris at March 6, 2006 06:29 PM

Kris, they wait patiently for a few years to see what direction the market is going. It cannot go anywhere buy down in California. Save money and live a happier life renting, until the tide turns. SJ, don't buy a house in Boston unless you can do it with a fixed rate you can afford. If you wait you likely will see the house valued at under 500 thousand. Of course, rates will go up some. Houses must become more affordable as the bubble unravels though, so hold off buying, especially if you have any sort of exotic loan in mind.

Posted by: Gary Anderson at March 9, 2006 11:25 PM

I am planning in moving to Gulfport, MS in the near future. How is the housing market there? What areas would be recommendable to look at?

Thanks for any help!

Posted by: Ted Holcombe at July 21, 2006 03:04 PM

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