DATA: Consumer Reports has a table that purports to tell which US housing markets are overpriced, which are undervalued, and which are at a fair value. This is good information to have for those thinking about moving from renting to buying, or those thinking about selling and renting -- especially with growing news about a possible real-estate bubble.
The Local Market Monitor, a Wellesley, Mass., real-estate consulting company, prepared for Consumer Reports this list of more than 125 housing markets in the U.S. The average home price is listed for each metropolitan area. Areas where real-estate values seem unusually high based on historical price/income ratios are rated as "overpriced. " Markets where prices and incomes were near equilibrium ratios, or the "affordable price," are listed as "fair value." Markets where home prices seem low relative to incomes are listed as "undervalued." The right-hand columns list annual price gains (or losses) through the third quarter of 2004, and quarter to quarter for 2004, according to data compiled by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO).