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Most expensive real estate market

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Posted: 10 am ET

There's a new list out, of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, and I bet you can guess the state that has the highest number of cities in the top 10. Of course, it's California, state of some of the most outrageous displays of wealth since the 1849 gold rush. But it's also worth noting the state's miles of gorgeous coastline to the west, flanked by mountains to the east.

Where is the most expensive real estate?California took the top two positions on the list, according to the Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report, which looked at more than 18,000 four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties between February and August. Newport Beach was first, with an average listing price of $1.83 million, and Palo Alto was No. 2, with an average listing price of $1.48 million.

The Northeast also fared well, which is not unusual considering that region contains some of the wealthiest states as measured by per capita income (New Hampshire is first, followed by New Jersey and Connecticut, according to the latest survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.) The least expensive real estate markets are in the Midwest, with Detroit currently the most affordable at $68,000 average listing price.

The average listing price of all homes in the survey was $353,000.

All in all, the tally was not that surprising, as noted by Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker's chief executive. "People like the sun; they like the beaches; they like the mountains."

Now the question becomes, who will buy? Rates are certainly attractive, with jumbo mortgage rates hovering around 5 percent, but news about home sales is still mixed. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales in August were stabilized, after dropping in July.

How do you feel about the real estate market in the city or state where you live?

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