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ODU researchers develop Hampton Roads regional home-price index

Economists and programmers at Old Dominion University have created a home-price index modeled from national home-price trackers in a bid to more accurately track the rise and fall in local home prices.

The index, which was created by comparing multiple sales of the same properties over a period of more than 15 years, shows that home prices in Hampton Roads fell during 2011 a little more than previously reported.

In December, home prices were down 11.6 percent compared with the same month in 2010, according to the index. That’s compared with a median price drop of 9.2 percent during the same time period.

Vinod Agarwal, an ODU economist and one of the individuals behind the index, said that they weren’t surprised to see that difference.

The median is the point at which half of all sales are higher and half lower. One of the shortcomings of that approach to tracking home prices is that the median can be affected by a large volume of sales in a single price range. For example, if more sales are occurring at the lower price range of a housing market, the median price would shift lower.

More of the story here

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