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Coldwell Banker ranks U.S. housing markets on affordability

Niagara Falls, New York, was named most affordable housing market in the U.S. by Coldwell Banker.

Niagara Falls, New York, was named most affordable housing market in the U.S. by Coldwell Banker.

With house prices falling in most markets and mortgage interest rates low, two-thirds of Americans believe now is a good time to buy a home, according to a Genworth International Mortgage Trends Report released last week. Given this statistic, there should be many people looking to make a move who will be interested in a new Coldwell Banker report on the most expensive and most affordable U.S. housing markets.

The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report ranked 2,300 American and Canadian markets based on the average list price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes on the company's website between September 2010 and March 2011.

Newport Beach, California, came in as the most expensive market in the country, while Niagara Falls, New York, was named most affordable. The average list price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home was $2,537,126 in Newport Beach and $60,820 in Niagara Falls. The U.S. average list price was $293,000.

The top 10 most expensive markets were all on the West or East Coast, with six California markets represented. Among the top 10 most affordable markets, Ohio appears twice and Georgia three times.

Personal finances issues are the primary impediment facing first-time home buyers worldwide, according to the Genworth study. For the 48 percent of American respondents who told Genworth they are worried about personal finances, the Coldwell Banker report might be useful in locating a market they can afford.