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Here’s a cute item. Real estate search site Cyberhomes.com has pitted the NCAA Final Four cities against each other in a real estate version of the tournament. The contenders: Chapel Hill, NC, Villanova, PA, East Lansing MI and Storrs, Connecticut.
The site looked at factors important to homeowners that such as 12-month change in home value, unemployment and recent job growth, cost of living, the number of owners vs. renters, daily commute time and the number of sunny days. A city earned one point for having a better number in each of the categories. Here’s out Cyberhomes played it out:
Game 1: Chapel Hill beats Villanova for having a lower cost of living, higher job growth, shorter commute time and more sunny days per year. The final score is 4-3, UNC edging out Villanova.
Game 2: East Lansing tops Storrs with a lower cost of living, higher job growth, and a higher number of owners vs. renters. Storrs, however, does boast a lower unemployment rate, more sunny days and a much smaller 12-month change in home values. The final score is a tie at 3-3, which brings us to overtime. UConn beats The Spartans in overtime. The huge differential in 12-month change in estimated home value is the tiebreaker. Storrs comes is at just -1.77 percent and East Lansing at -12.53 percent.
Championship: Moving on to the final match of Chapel Hill vs. Storrs – its small town vs. small town, but Chapel Hill comes out on top as the NCAA Real Estate National Champion. The Tarheels cream the Huskies 6-1, better in every category except average commute time.
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.