Berkeley Homes
Ira & Carol Serkes
Pacific Union RE
Berkeley, CA USA


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How do Berkeley 2008 sales compare to 2007 sales?

How do Berkeley 2008 sales compare to 2007 sales?

Read the papers and it all seems to be doom and gloom.

So I decided to follow the edict of Professor Cheng at Cooper Union, one of my engineering professors

"Collect Data... Publish!"

I noticed that there were more 3 bedroom homes sold in Berkeley last year than any other size homes, so that would give me a statistically significant sampling of data.

I compared 3 bedroom home sales for Jan-Jun 2007 for Jan-Jun 2008, and came up with the following graph.

I sorted the sales prices from low to high so I could see how the prices distributed. The vertical axis is Sales Price, the horizontal axis is number of homes sold.

Several things come to mind:

Fewer sales in 2008 than in 2007
A similar trend of price distribution
And... something interesting... what appears to be more 3 bedroom homes sold for higher prices in 2008.

So I decided to look at the data in a slightly different way.. by "normalizing" the data. Was the increase in price real, or just an artifact of slightly fewer sales which shifted the graph to the left.

I decided to see how the two years compared if I plotted the sales price vs. percentile.

Translating into English... I used Microsoft Excel to show the 10/20..50..70/80/90/100% points for each year.

So if there were 100 sales in 2007, the 80% percentile would be sale #80
If there were 90 sales in 2008, the 80% percentile would be sale #72

And so I graphed it by percentile.

And here's what it looks like

As Artie Johnson used to say in Laugh In "Verrrry Interesting"

Looks like the distribution of 3 bedroom homes sales is almost exactly alike.

But wait.. there's more!

On the higher percentiles of sales.. in 2008, 3 bedroom homes actually sold for higher prices!

But wait.. there's even more!

The median home price (50 percentile) for 2008 was lower than that for 2007. And so, if you only looked at the median home price.. you'd conclude that prices were dropping.

So.. you really have to look at the distribution of home prices to see that they're actually holding their own... and in fact, the nicer homes are definitely selling for higher prices.

Thinking of selling... or buying? If you're need is immediate, ring up my iPhone at 510-207-4955.. or send an email to serkes@berkeleyhomes.com

We'll give you the data so you'll know what's best for you!

Email serkes@berkeleyhomes.com or call 510-526-6668 for more information.

Live update of East Bay Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, Rockridge...homes by neighborhood!

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At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Perspective Berkeley Buyer said...

This is very interested data. As we see the SFH go up in price, what do you see as the driving factor?
Is this a simple case of the university carrying the surround market, or is there more going here?

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Ira & Carol Serkes said...

UC Berkeley plays a large role in the City of Berkeley... but there are many benefits of living here than just proximity to the University of California

I think the main factor is the desirability of living in Berkeley. Pleasant neighborhoods, easy access to San Francisco .. and a wonderful quality of life.. great weather, theater, music, restaurants...

Many of our clients are affiliated with Cal, but most of our buyers come buy a home in Berkeley because of its diversity and open mindedness.

I came to Berkeley in 1974 when I moved here to work for Chevron Research, and have been here ever since=


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