Inquiring minds want to know. In an upcoming story, we'll be looking at how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pulled its housing price values. Want to know why? Because we can't quite figure out why some areas in Idaho saw their lending limits raised, while a place like Las Vegas was passed over. There's also the itty-bitty problem of the new lending limits in the Golden State often not even being in the same ZIP code as the median prices published by the California Association of Realtors. We're no big defender of realtors here at HW, of course, but these discrepancies for single family residences are troubling:
Alameda County, Calif. FHA/GSE temporary limit: $729,750 CAR reported median price: $500,000 Los Angeles County, Calif. FHA/GSE temporary limit: $729,750 CAR reported median price: $460,000 Contra Costa County, Calif. FHA/GSE temporary limit: $729,750 CAR reported median price: $464,000
HUD's estimate of the average prices for each area are even higher than the lending limit. Which leads us to ask: are the realtors wrong (again)? Or is HUD playing fast and loose with its numbers?