Friday, December 17, 2004

Housing Concerns on the Central Coast

A new report says the San Luis Obispo area could be in more trouble than anywhere else in the country if a recession hits.

According to Standard and Poor's Housing Volatility Index, San Luis Obispo's housing market is the most vulnerable in the nation to rpice losses during a recession.

Since 1998, the median price of homes has more than doubled in the city of San Luis Obispo to nearly 450,000 dollars.

Researchers developed the index by examining historical records of housing prices while focusing on the variability of prices over the years.

Local realtors and new home owners say they're not worried about the so-called housing bursting because of three reasons: location, location, location.

"There's only so much coastline available in the state of California," said Century 21 broker Amy Gallagher. "I think prices are going to hold steady or continue to go up."

"I Still feel like I made a really good choice for myself," said new home owner Michelle Cavin. "Even if prices go down elsewhere in California , I think we're going to be okay here on the Central Coast."

UCSB Economic forecaster Dr. Bill Watkins also questions the volatility index.

In fact, he's predicted the county's median price will increas another 66 percent in the next five year.

Many realtors say if anything, housing prices might level off during a recession, not collapse like the study suggests.


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