By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

As East Cooper residents endure traffic to reach their $378,164 homes, Moncks Corner dwellers cruise to like-sized houses priced less than half.

Sure, that’s a vast oversimplification. Home value calculations include a zillion factors other than location and driving delays. Mount Pleasant doesn’t face the same degree of traffic problems with its Johnnie Dodds Boulevard road improvements being completed. And, it’s no picnic heading to and from the Berkeley County seat when Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 52 get snarled.

But the figures from the 2012 Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report do showcase the marked differences in home prices just within metro Charleston.

In the study released in late November, the national real estate company analyzed 72,000 home listings in more than 2,500 markets. The report, according to Coldwell Banker, provides a snapshot of the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes nationwide. The average home listing price of such a home is $292,152, the agency found.

“Each year, our home listing report captures an insightful look at local market conditions and emerging trends in real estate,” says Budge Huskey, president of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “We recognize that buying a home is a significant life decision, and we do this apples-to-apples comparison of similar homes to provide homebuyers with useful information about the many opportunities that exist around the U.S.”

Housing affordability nationwide is not hard to find, the agency says, with 36 percent of the analyzed markets posting an average home listing price of less than $200,000 for four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes.

Along with national figures, the Coldwell Banker report provides listing price figures for the cities and towns analyzed in each state while also singling out the 10 most affordable and most expensive.

Mount Pleasant ranked priciest in South Carolina, tagged with a $378,164 average listing price for a four-bedroom, two-bath home. Charleston also cracked the top 10, placing sixth most expensive with a $276,849 average.

Among the most affordable group, the Richland County town of Hopkins ranked first in the state— and No. 101 nationwide — with an average price of $125,508. Moncks Corner landed in ninth at $173,563.

Also from metro Charleston were Goose Creek, which placed No. 21 in affordability at $193,774 and Summerville, ranking No. 24 at $199,138.

While comprehensive, the yearly Coldwell Banker analysis isn’t a complete sample of home prices by any means.

The report examines the average listing prices of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties found on the company’s website, www.coldwellbanker.com between January and June of this year. Markets without at least 10 four-bedroom, two-bathroom listings on the website during the six-month time frame were excluded. Also, the company chose not to include on its website publication certain U.S. markets affected by Hurricane Sandy “out of respect to those still dealing with damage” from the storm.

Among the countrywide findings, Coldwell Banker discovered that six of the 10 most expensive markets in the U.S. are in California’s tech-rich Silicon Valley. Los Gatos, Calif., situated close to Apple, Facebook, Google and Stanford University, ranked most expensive for the average four-bedroom, two-bath home at $1,706,688.

“The success of many of our native tech companies has shined a spotlight on Silicon Valley and our real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area,” says Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Listing prices in our market are a product of ongoing high demand, projected population growth and the low inventory levels of homes in what is one of the most desirable locations to live,” he says.

By contrast, many of the more affordable markets are in the Midwest. Redford, Mich., was the most affordable at $60,490.

Coldwell Banker named the 10 most expensive and most affordable states, with Hawaii the priciest at $742,551 and Nebraska the best deal at $145,360. But the agency didn’t list the 30 states, including South Carolina, in the middle, so there were no exact price figures published for them.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.

• South Carolina (10 most expensive, most affordable markets): •

Ranking Most Expensive County Ave. Listing Price

1 Mount Pleasant Charleston $378,164

2 North Myrtle Beach Horry $373,710

3 Chapin Lexington $324,162

4 Aiken Aiken $282,676

5 Tega Cay York $281,714

6 Charleston Charleston $276,849

7 Seneca Oconee $262,383

8 Greenville Greenville $256,793

9 Murrells Inlet Georgetown $243,347

10 Simpsonville Greenville $241,462

Ranking Most Affordable County Ave. Listing Price

1 Hopkins Richland $125,508

2 Walterboro Colleton $144,363

3 Lugoff Kershaw $161,056

4 Anderson Anderson $162,408

5 Conway Horry $164,602

6 Moore Spartanburg $165,111

7 Boiling Springs Spartanburg $166,684

8 Rock Hill York $173,563

9 Moncks Corner Berkeley $173,563

10 Bluffton Beaufort $175,050

Source: Coldwell Banker