Most and Least Expensive Housing Markets, at Least for Today

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The Associated PressCleveland rocks it as the "most affordable" housing market in America, according to a new survey.
How many sales of Cleveland, Ohio, homes does it take to buy one in Silicon Valley? Thirty, according to the new Coldwell Banker Home Listing Repot, which, for the second time in three years, lists Los Altos, Caliornia, as the most expensive market in the U.S. The annual report says that a four-bedroom, two-bath house in Los Altos -- reportedly home to Google founder Sergey Brin -- on average costs $1,963,100.

That's six times the national average -- $295,317 -- and for than 30 times the cost of a home in Cleveland -- $64,993-- home to LeBron James and Johnny Manziel, and the country's "most affordable" market. Cleveland's the most affordable? How about hapless Detroit, where they're giving away houses?

The Coldwell Banker report considered 50,000-plus of its own listings, in places that had at least 10 four-bed/two-bath homes marketed on Coldwell Banker's website between January and June of this year.

Inside that window, the five most expensive markets were all in California:

1. Los Altos
2. Newport Beach
3. Saratoga
4. Redwood City/Woodside
5. Los Gatos

The five most affordable -- read, "cheapest" -- markets were:

1. Cleveland
2. Riverdale, Georgia
3. Park Forest, Illinois
4. Lake Wales, Florida
5. Lithonia, Georgia

If you're depending on surveys and reports to steer you to housing markets that you can brag on, or merely afford, good luck. There's no consensus on the census.

A recent study by The Atlantic's CityLab listed these as the most expensive markets, using numbers from Zillow.

1. Atherton, California
2. Sagaponack (The Hamptons), New York
3. Beverly Hills, California
4. Palo Alto
5. Boston

Forbes and Trulia's most affordable markets are:

1. Akron, Ohio
2. Toledo, Ohio
3. Dayton, Ohio
4. Gary, Indiana
5. Columbia, South Carolina

What's the take-away lesson behind all these numbers? Pick a home you can afford in a place you love. Leave the lists for your reading pleasure.
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