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Zillow.com and Bloomberg.com have combined forces to figure out which American housing markets have been the riskiest over the past 35 years. Here's the methodology: assuming buyers held their homes for five years before selling, what was their chance of suffering a loss?

San Diego came in ninth among major metro areas, with a 27.4 percent risk of a loss at some point over the 35-year period. San Diego's worst year was minus 18.7 percent from January to December of 2008. The best was a gain of 30 percent from October of 2003 to September of 2004.

The riskiest market was Hartford, Connecticut, with a 36.8 percent risk of loss.

Bloomberg and Zillow also listed the markets with the least risk of loss — the stablest markets. The winner was deeply depressed and snow-plagued Buffalo, New York, with zero percent risk of loss over the 35-year period.

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shirleyberan June 26, 2014 @ 8:14 p.m.

A gamble, unless you understand the game, like desirable area and low bid. And then the forclosures were all over, and bank owned seemed promising.

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 7:53 a.m.

shirleyberan: Yes, as in any investing and risk-taking, you have to realize that there are others (insiders, usually) who know the game better than you do. They know how to bury the malodorous factors deep in indecipherable prose, written by lawyers who specialize in penning unfathomable documents. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh June 26, 2014 @ 8:33 p.m.

Buffalo with no risk? It is hard to know about that area, but I'd suppose that it has fallen about as far as it can, hence no risk of it falling further. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results. So, some of those horribly depressed cities will bounce back for reasons we cannot now anticipate, and there will be massive gains in them. For a speculator, the problem is to guess which cities will recover, and which ones will continue to slide.

Such a study is interesting, but I'd prefer not to take it to the bank. They are doing an educated guess, and nothing more. As I mentioned above, past performance is . . .

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 8:08 a.m.

Visduh: The one and only time I visited Buffalo was in the late 1960s. Even then, it was depressing just to drive through. Now it is said to be worse. The median home price in Buffalo is $126,100 versus San Diego's $494,500, according to Zillow. I doubt if housing values will rise much in Buffalo.

I understand Syracuse is almost as depressed as Buffalo. The median price of homes on the market there is $86,900. The state of New York has an aggressive program to attract business. These upstate cities can certainly offer low prices. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 27, 2014 @ 11:50 a.m.

Don - I was just gonna say "You are bringing it today" but I looked up "Bringing It Home" and found out it's a documentary about building a house out of hemp. Don't laugh. Industrial hemp (with lime) is said to be mildew, fire, and pest resistant. Good for uses as building material, bio-plastics, auto parts, food products... I found edible hemp at Costco, nutty flavor, don't have to cook, little soft seeds, lots of vitamins and minerals, mixed it with my ancient grain blend- quinoa, amaranth, millet. Non-psychoactive, But, almost all US farmers are prohibited from research and growing (30 other countries already do) even though problems such as global warming, deforestation lessened, as well as health issues of nutrition and poverty!

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 11:56 a.m.

shirleyberan: Sounds like hemp is worth researching for multiple uses. It also sounds like the government is off base, but I won't say that until I do some research. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 27, 2014 @ 12:59 p.m.

Like you said Don, they're deep in it with construction/developers.

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 3:23 p.m.

shirleyberan: I had not heard of these hemp uses. I will check for my own edification. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder June 27, 2014 @ 1:10 p.m.

I believe that the risk can't be too high now especially in the better parts of San Diego because I was just told that we are now seeing BIG money being spent in places like Mission Hills by Chinese investors who pay cash (and then turn the property over to Chinese property management companies) and therefore could buy anywhere else just as easily!

Perhaps what we are now seeing is international investing in US properties as a way to spend their UD$, since quality real estate is now much more valuable than holding cash as it used to be when interest rates were higher.

Also the County of San Diego would love to see all property get flipped as often as possible since it would do wonders for the amount of property taxes collected.

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 3:30 p.m.

Founder: This is where the Federal Reserve's weak-dollar policy can backfire. Foreign money snaps up assets. Usually the prices become distorted. Eventually the bubble pops.

You are sure this will last a long time. You may be right. San Diego prices are not yet back to the bubble prices of 2005-2006. But this could end quickly, too. Beware.

Back in the late 1980s, the Japanese were gobbling up commercial real estate in the U.S., particularly in markets such as San Diego. The Japanese overpaid -- often grossly. We dumped a lot of overpriced merchandise on them. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 27, 2014 @ 1:22 p.m.

Founder - I believe what you say. We are loosing ground to China. I see flipping everywhere in town, who knows where those guys come from.

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Founder June 27, 2014 @ 3:24 p.m.

The USA and especially small Cities like SD will be far different in the future as Global investment comes here and builds upward in a BIG way.

Will San Diego becomes yet another new Hong Kong Mega City?

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 3:34 p.m.

Founder: Good question. Another one: will the China boom last? Who will be holding on to the overpriced assets when the music stops?

San Diego becoming Hong Kong? What about those height limitations that the developers want to knock down? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 3:32 p.m.

shirleyberan: We have known for several years that too much of the buying of San Diego real estate was coming from institutions, domestic or foreign. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 27, 2014 @ 5:21 p.m.

And school superintendents that make a habit out of using other people's money. Don't forget the Sweetwater 9, who now have title and control over (3?) buildings bought by money that was supposed to be used on children in one of our low income areas.

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 7:19 p.m.

shirleyberan: The Sweetwater scandal turns one's stomach. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 27, 2014 @ 5:53 p.m.

In other words is a New and Bogus, School Superintendent Ed Brand, Personal Real Estate Company, Susan can explain better.

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Don Bauder June 27, 2014 @ 7:20 p.m.

shirleyberan: Yes, I would rather have Susan Luzzaro explain the Sweetwater imbroglio. She has covered it very well. Best, Don Bauder

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