State’s Resale Climate Remains Hot

California’ resale housing continued to appreciate at near-record levels, while the Northeast market cooled down after several years of growth, according to a Coldwell Banker Residential Group survey of similar houses.

The national average price for a three-bedroom, two-bath, 2,000-square-foot house was $176,286, with two-thirds of the sample houses selling for less. All of the houses surveyed were similar, chosen as being typical for a corporate transferee.

The houses in 175 markets surveyed in the United States and Canada fall into six groups: Heartland, South and Northwest; Mid-priced/perimeter; Upscale/suburban; Coastal up-and-coming; California elite, and Super-elite.

Value changes ranged from a 21.2% 1987-88 price decrease to $123,500 in Anchorage, Alaska, in the Mid-priced/perimeter group to a 55.3% increase to $441,667 in San Marino, in the California elite group.


Overall, the average price increase for the markets examined was 6.2%, higher than the inflation rate, according to Chandler B. Barton, chairman and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Group, Newport Beach.

About 25% of the markets, mostly in California, but including such cities as Fort Wayne, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; York, Pa.; Portland, Me.; Allentown, Pa.; Bellevue, Wash., and Springfield, Mass., recorded double-digit price appreciation from 1987 to ’88.

Oklahoma City, in the Heartland, South and Northwest group, checked in with the lowest-price house in the index, $75,098. Beverly Hills, sharing the Super-elite category with Greenwich, Conn., had the highest-priced home, at $841,667. The Beverly Hills house appreciated 10.1% from 1987 to 1988, while the Greenwich house appreciated just 3.4% to $671,667.

The Heartland group includes 68 markets in the Midwest, South and Northwest, with an average resale price of $96,972 and an average annual appreciation of 2.1%. The lowest-priced resale house was Oklahoma City, while the highest was Fresno, $115,500, the only California city in this entry-level category.


Mid-priced/perimeter markets numbered 45 and ranged from a low of $117,967 in Fargo, N.D., to a high of $159,167 in Sacramento. Appreciation averaged 4.9%, roughly the level of inflation.

The 37 markets in the Upscale/suburban group had an average price of $210,720, with a low of $167,667 in Philadelphia’s western suburbs to a high of $266,667 on Long Island. California cities in this group include Covina, $183,333, Chula Vista, $190,500, Riverside, $183,000, and Poway, $178,667. Annual appreciation among the California cities ranged from a low of 3.5% in Riverside to a high of 27% in Chula Vista.

Coastal up-and-coming suburbs, the fourth group, had an average price of $338,031, ranging from a low of $292,333 in Encinitas to a high of $396,667 in Glendale.

California elite, the fifth group, included suburbs of Los Angeles and San Francisco, with an average price of $480,651. The low was $411,667 in San Mateo and the high was $556,667 in San Francisco.