Saturday, August 11, 2007

A WaPo analytic innovation

Today the WaPo discovered the idea of analyzing real estate sales by zip code. The article used higher average/median prices and dollar volume in zip code 20015 to prove its point that some zip codes are doing well. The story would have been stronger if it'd looked at unit volume, too, to see how it all tied together; as it is, the article told half the story. I don't dispute the WaPo's analysis, I've commented for several months that the high end real estate market is doing quite well while the rest of the market is on life support.

To show them a "best practice", I performed a similar analysis [June 2007 versus June 2006]. I included all types of housing [condos and homes] in the analysis so zip code 20015's data will reflect the "Chase Point effect"TM. The table below shows the percentage change YoY for average/median prices, unit and dollar volume.

As the WaPo discovered, zip code 20015 had a good month, as well it should when you see that one home sold for $3MM, another for $1.6MM, that tired place for $1.2MM, and then all those $1MM condos at Chase Point. Zip code 20006 had zero sales in June 2006 so anything in June 2007 is a good thing.

Average and median prices rose in zip codes 20001, 20005, 20010, 20012, and 20016 despite falling unit and dollar volume; one can only assume that high end homes/condos were responsible for the price growth. The real story is that of 22 zip codes in the District, 17 had lower sales volume [unit and dollar]; of those, 11 also had lower average and median prices. That didn't make today's WaPo.

Ultimately, while the WaPo is accurate in reporting that some zip codes are doing well, it's cold comfort to the rest of us to be told once again the old story that the wealthy are doing well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should write a letter to the editor. That is a very good point. The WaPo is such a crap paper that hates criticism and takes so much revenue from real estate ads that I doubt they would print it though.