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Americans Ditching Overheated Housing Markets

Editor�s Note: In our December 6 issue we reported on the observations and research of Jack Lessinger, suggesting that many Americans will opt for a lifestyle that is calmer, less densely populated and much cheaper. He claimed the next big wave in housing will be Penturbia�urban developments in rural regions. Herein are some additional comments about the housing market.

MassINC, a non-profit public policy think tank, reports that 25% of Massachusetts residents say they would leave the state if the opportunity arose. The No.1 reason cited was the high cost of living coupled with housing�s lack of affordability.

Economy.com says California suffers a net loss of 100,000 residents a year, as homeowners cash out of appreciated houses and move to Arizona, Washington, and Oregon. And as prices have climbed in these three states, the latest trend for Californians� search is the Midwest where spacious houses are available for half the cost of similar space in Los Angeles.

The once bucolic suburb of Long Island, now a heavily developed region next to New York City, sees a similar trend, with 45% of the residents indicating they might move out during the next five years. Younger Long Islanders (ages 18 to 34) are spending more than half of their income on housing.

(The American Homebuilders Association reported that a comparable home in the Deltona-Daytona Beach area, for example, costs about $194,000 versus $434,000 in Long Island�s Nassau County.)

There are signs too that Las Vegas is no longer the draw, as the median house there has leaped to $283,000. Las Vegans, in fact, are starting to pull up stakes for cheaper markets in Arizona...such as Phoenix, Tucson and Chandler.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reports that Phoenix is now the hottest market in the country. Home values have surged 55% over the last 12 months.


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