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New Study Tracks the Best Housing Markets for Air Quality

Phil Hall
Oct 19, 2015
New York City Smog

There’s something in the air today—at least over at Realtor.com, which analyzed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index—a measure of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone levels—and married those numbers to the 100 largest metropolitan areas. The result: A new study on which housing markets have the best and worst air quality.

Honolulu came in first, with 94.5 percent good air days per year—and homeowners in that Pacific Island market can exhale $599,000 to cover the median list price on a house. Florida contributed five of the top 10 markets to this list, including Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville in second place, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach in third place and Cape Coral-Fort Myers in fourth place. One surprise on the list was Wichita, Kan., at seventh place, the only Midwest market to crack the top 10.

Meanwhile, the worst air quality markets were California’s Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, with a measly 7.5 percent good air days per year and a median house price of $328,000, and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, with 8.8 percent good air days per year and a median house price of $621,000. The nation’s largest metro area, the New York City metropolitan market, came in sixth with 32 percent good air days and a median house price of $383,000—although, in fairness, it should be noted that Realtor.com stretched this market across northern New Jersey and far into Pennsylvania.

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