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The PMI Group, a California-based provider of mortgage insurance, recently published an interesting study that ranks the riskiest housing markets in the country (“riskiest” meaning which are the most at risk of a downturn in housing prices). Perhaps not surprisingly, the “Top 10” list of riskiest markets is dominated by California cities. But I was surprised by PMI’s choice of the “riskiest” city, which PMI predicts has a better-than-50% chance of falling home prices, because it isn’t a housing market that gets a lot of attention in the media. It’s Boston, which PMI estimates has a 55% chance of seeing home prices fall. (Interestingly Cambridge is 7th, and the Providence RI-New Bedford-Fall River MSA is ranked 10th. I think PMI’s estimation that Washington DC has just a 20% shot at falling prices is too low. There hasn’t been much discussion of the Boston housing market on this forum. What do Bostonians think?
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.