Thursday, April 12, 2007

Real Estate Markets

After being sick for a month, I am (maybe?) starting to recover enough to resume blogging.

This week's Economix column in the NYTimes discusses an interesting analysis of buying a home versus renting. The punchline is, unless you plan on staying put for awhile, you probably want to rent -- especially if you live in one the Northeast, California, Florida, or the Southwest. They even put together a cool interactive feature which allows you to enter basic variables (e.g., rent, home price, down payment, mortgage rate, and property taxes) and it outputs how many years (at certain assumed rates of home appreciation) it takes for purchasing a home to be "worth it." While one might quibble with some of the assumptions underlying their calculations, the methodology is pretty good.

Also on the real estate front, someone took the graph of real home prices in the US and turned it into a rollercoaster. Enjoy the ride:

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