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What is the best source/website for seeing if the housing prices are high or low? I am looking to buy a home but don't know where to look confirm if the housing prices in aggregate or by city/state are high or low.

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    What country are you in? In the US, I'd generally use the Case-Shiller index fred.stlouisfed.org/categories/32261 for whatever geographic region you're interested in. Other countries would use other indexes. Taking a step back, though, I'm not sure what action you'd take based on the index. You have to live somewhere after all so the choice is between renting and buying. That's not something that a housing price index is going to help you with. Nov 24, 2021 at 22:51

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You can always look at historical averages in a market to see where prices are now comparative to the past, and a large short-term rise in prices might be potentially a sign of a local real estate bubble.

One of the interesting phenomena we witnessed here in Colorado in the 1990s and even the early 2000s was a large influx of people from California who were drawn by a growing tech industry along the Front Range of the state. After selling their own homes in California, they found they could afford a much larger home here for less than what they sold their last homes for, and when sellers realized they could GET more, prices began to rapidly rise. That trend has never really slowed too much (outside of the post-2008 national slide in prices), and Colorado (Denver and Colorado Springs, at least!) remains one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country.

The point is that whether a market is high or low is often more a matter of affordability than anything. What you consider to be expensive when looking at California prices is accepted as the norm there, and the opposite is true for people in California when they look around at the rest of the country by comparison.

Sometimes a good way to gauge whether a market is nearing its peak is to analyze the trend in how long properties remain on the market and whether they are selling at, above, or below asking price. There will always be outliers in the data (a highly desirable neighborhood may always fetch asking price or more while a less affluent one frequently may tend to sell slightly under asking price, even in good times), but if the general overall trend is moving toward longer times on the market and properties having their prices reduced before selling then it might be a pretty reliable indicator that the market is flattening out, in which case you should exercise some caution before jumping into buying a home.

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