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The Google Earth Approach to Value in Your Market

If you've used Google Earth or seen it on TV, it's a pretty amazing sight to enter an address and watch the globe begin to spin and zoom in.  You go through continents, then countries, states, cities and right into the front yard of a home.

Watching home prices from the big picture inward is a full time activity for housing market analysts and real estate investors.  Once you reach the U.S. level, there is an excellent resource to see how prices are doing in your state, region, and even in more than 300 towns and cities.

The FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) produces a monthly and quarterly report of home price changes across the country, drilling down to city level for those 300 or so towns.  It's been tracking for more than 20 years, and in just a couple of minutes, you can see how your area has fared over time, and how home prices have moved from month to month recently.

Las Vegas-Paradise, NV is one of the areas tracked, and it should come as no surprise that the numbers from quarter to quarter over the last two years have been negative.  What is interesting is that over the last six quarters, they were worsening for three, then turned and have been improving for three quarters.  A little optimism is in order.

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